Process Addiction

Process Addiction

Process addiction is a compulsive behavior defined as a condition in which a person is dependent on some behavior. The term ‘process addiction’ is an umbrella term for any behavioral addiction that does not involve an addictive chemical, although there are chemical processes that are included within the individual’s body during compulsive behavior.

Examples of process addiction are:

  • Gambling
  • Sexual Addiction
  • Eating Disorders
  • Shopping Addiction


A process addiction is characterized by:

  • An obsessive need to be consistently involved with an activity
  • Neglecting responsibilities to maintain the obsessive behavior
  • Ongoing relationship and legal troubles
  • Loss of control over behavior
  • Life is centered around the behavioral addiction

These characteristics often lead to suffering, loss of family and friends, and ongoing consequences. An individual’s mental state, genetics, social status and past experiences all influence the addict’s behavior.

How It Affects the Brain

Just like with substance abuse, the reward center in the person’s brain is stimulated transferring chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine into the body, creating addictive behaviors. The chemicals released into the body produces a ‘high’ in which the person chases regardless of consequences.

Side Effects

Gambling and Shopping:
  • Debt
  • Bankruptcy
  • Job loss
  • Family disruptions
Compulsive eating:
  • Health problems
  • Psychological issues
Sexual addiction:
  • Distress
  • Venereal disease
  • Unwanted pregnancy
  • Feelings of shame and guilt


Whatever the addiction or behavior is, treatment is available and recommended to get your life back on track. Treatment methods vary, but the most useful include identification and ending of the behavior through renewal therapies. Ambrosia offers drug and alcohol rehabilitation in Florida and Pennsylvania. A full and lasting recovery is possible if you call our admissions specialists to continue forward on the road to recovery.

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