Process Addictions Overview
Process or behavioral addictions / compulsions are different from drug and alcohol addictions / compulsions in that behaviors cause the mood-altering experiences in the brain instead of chemicals. However, they are the same when it comes to the mood-altering effects, or the highs, they cause. The processes in the brain that become addictions are caused by either ingesting a chemical or doing a behavior that causes a “flooding” of different neurotransmitters that activate their respective receptor sites. For example, using crack cocaine or crystal meth causes an 1100% increase in dopamine potentiation, a powerful experience of getting high. When a male looks at moving porn, he gets an 1100% increase in dopamine potentiation. Behaviors or processes that can cause this flooding and thus addiction include: pornography, high-risk sex, videogaming, compulsive social media use, gambling, excessive food consumption (primarily sugars and carbs), excessive denying of food or anorexia, and more. Sex addiction in teens and young adults is a real problem but through effective treatment that addresses both the behavior and the underlying causes, porn recovery is possible.
Process Addictions – Pornography / Video-gaming
The two most common and damaging behaviors that we see in young adult and adolescent males is the compulsive use of pornography and video gaming. Many parents don’t realize that video game addiction and porn addiction are real, destructive, and start at a very young age. The negative effects of video games played excessively include internet gaming disorder. The negative health effects of video games in excess is both direct and indirect. Direct in the lack of physical activity, poor eating habits and lack of good personal hygiene that often or eventually go hand in hand with the compulsivity. Indirect in the poor attitudes, defiance and apathy that eventually develop. Both porn and video games are passive-brain oriented activities, as opposed to an active-brain orientation, and both produce a byproduct of apathy. Apathy is one of the most difficult and challenging aspects of life, period, but certainly in overcoming compulsions, addictions, trauma and attachment wounds. Many people don’t understand the power of porn, especially moving porn, and more especially digital moving porn on the internet. Some say, “There are no bad effects of watching pornography” or “There are no negative effects of video games”. Others ask, “Can you be addicted to porn? Is video game addiction possible?” Absolutely!