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Behavior / Process


Behavioral / Process disorders, commonly known as behavior/process "addictions",  are compulsions to engage in activities or behaviors that produce chemical changes in the brain, and offer short-term rewards despite the negative consequences that come from engaging in the behaviors.  Behavior/process disorders are unique in that they embody many behaviors and activities that are a part of our everyday lives and which many people do without incident and in moderation, such as, sex, eating, gambling, shopping, and digital media.  They share many commonalities with substance addictions with respect to arousal, withdrawal,  and negative impact on family, social and occupational functioning. Behavioral/Process disorders are not necessarily "diagnoses" and often may be symptoms/behaviors related to anxiety, depression, PTSD, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. 


Whether or not a behavior is problematic, compulsive, or "addicted" for an individual depends on the symptoms and the impact such behaviors have on their relationships, academic and/or occupational tasks, and physical/emotional health.   





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