Other addictions is a broad term used to describe a pattern of compulsive behaviors related to any activity other than taking drugs or using alcohol.  Such behaviors can include gambling, shopping, or even exercise.  With some compulsions such as spending or online investing, there is a self-image that develops, which is the illusion of importance.  This self-image supports the continuation of the behavior even when there are financial difficulties.  In a society that is focused on success, some behaviors such as exercise or working can keep a person engaged in these activities.  In fact, some individuals continue the behaviors because they are rewarded by others.  Even positive behaviors such as exercise or work can turn into an addiction.

The addiction evolves when the person who works or exercises excessively begins to feel tense when they do not get to engage in the behavior.  Their involvement in the behavior begins to overshadow other responsibilities such as family, friends, or home activities.  The rewards of exercise or work begin to wane when a person pushes these activities beyond a healthy level.  Over time, a person begins to feel irritated and dissatisfied and they may displace these feelings onto other people who in their opinion do not measure up.

As the addiction escalates, the addict finds it hard to experience joy in other activities.  The addict will continue to exercise, work, or shop despite financial ruin, injury, or health-related concerns.

Internet addiction is quickly becoming an “other addiction” and has been described as one of the fastest growing behavioral addictions today.  The anonymity of the Internet makes it easy and accessible for individuals to connect with virtually anyone in the world.  There are chat rooms, email, hookup sites, and online dating sites that are used by millions of individuals.  Excitement can become the foundation for continued Internet use even if there are consequences associated with the behavior.

The Internet is always open and provides not only anonymity but also a false sense of reality.  Many individuals can form romantic relationships with others they have never met.  This behavior can increase to the point of becoming possessive or addictive.  The person on the other end becomes the focus or object of love even to the point where other responsibilities are neglected.

Compulsive activities and attachments are serious issues that need to be addressed with a mental health professional.  If you think you might have an issue with an activity such as what is listed here, call Hired Power today (800) 910-9299.  There is help available for you!

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