Addictions that are characterized by acting out a process are called process addictions. Unlike a substance addiction, process addictions rely on carrying out a process step-by-step in order to achieve a euphoric state, where as substance addictions depend on the substance itself to do the work of creating a high. Process addictions award the addict the same rush of dopamine that one would get from an addictive substance. It is simply achieved through different means. Some of the most common process addictions are as follows:
- Sex. The process of having sex or participating in sex related activities is highly addictive to some people. Sex achieves a rush of dopamine that many sex addicts spend a great deal of time, money and energy seeking. Everyone gets pleasure from sex but some people become obsessed with having it.
- Gambling. The excitement and uncertainty of gambling can create an addiction within many people. The risk factor and the chance factor become some people’s personal fascination that they cannot quit. Gambling addicts are known to spend every cent they make on gambling.
- Video Gaming. Having an obsession with video gaming can strike any age, from adolescent to mature. Video game creators go to great lengths to make video games more and more immersive, and they have become highly addictive to a number of people.
Internet. Since the emergence of the internet, a number of people have begun using it compulsively and arranging their lives around it. It is highly entertaining and informative, which makes it difficult for anyone to put aside, but for people prone to addiction, the internet can prove irresistible.
- Cell Phones. Like the internet, cell phones are another life altering piece of technology that provide entertainment, communication and information to their owners. At first, cell phones are merely habit forming, but a number of people have taken habit to addiction by obsessing over their cell phones.
- Work. The term “workaholic” emerged to describe people who are obsessed with their professional endeavors. A workaholic is in the habit of putting their work above their family, friends, health and personal responsibilities This is considered a very real and detrimental addiction.
- Exercise. One may think that exercising is a healthy thing to de addicted to, but when someone is prioritizing exercise over their loved ones and life responsibilities, it requires intervention.