Behavioral Health

  1. Article SummaryPrint
  2. What is Behavioral Health?
  3. Types of Behavioral Addiction
  4. Warning Signs of Behavioral Addiction
  5. Behavioral Addiction Treatment
  6. The 12-Step Method
  7. Types of Mental Health Disorders

Behavioral health often refers to the relationship between a person's behavior and the well-being of the mind and body. When there are no problems it is often referred to as the norm or what one would consider as normal. When individuals fall outside of this norm, they may be referred to behavioral health treatment.

What is Behavioral Health?

When a person does not develop as he or she should because of genetics or environment, behavior problems can arise. Some extreme forms of behavior-related health problems are autism, and schizophrenia. They can also take the form of learning disabilities, psychological issues, chronic illness or developmental disorders. Each disorder comes with its own difficulties.

If you have any other questions concerning behavioral health treatment, you can contact our toll free hotline at 1-800-928-9139, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Types of Behavioral Addiction

If you suffer from a behavioral health disorder, you are at a higher risk for addictive behaviors. Not all addictions are to drugs or alcohol. Addictions can arise when you allow anything to control your life.Types of behavioral addictions that may require behavioral health treatment can include:

  • Porn addiction - Porn addicts often spend hours each day looking at erotic materials either online or on videos and magazines. They often have a large collection of porn at their disposal. Porn addicts use the material to receive excitement or a high. It can also be a way to deal with stress and anxiety. They often hide the behavior from others, and it can begin to disrupt their normal relationships.
  • gambling addiction

  • Gambling addiction -A gambling addiction usually occurs when a person begins to place bets on casino games, ball games or other activities. Often the person wins a few hands and is driven to continue gambling. Gambling can become a huge problem because the addict does not know when to quit. The person can lose everything in a short amount of time due to the inability to control their gambling habit.
  • Food addiction- Food addicts will spend most of their time thinking about food. They may be either overweight or underweight. Those with eating disorders will obsess over the amount they eat and often suffer from exercise addiction in an attempt to stay thin. Anorexia is one form of food addiction in which the addicts worry about the amount of food consumed, often to the point that they will limit themselves to very small amounts. Bulimia is another form of food addiction in which the addict will gorge on large quantities of food and then purge the food in order to avoid gaining weight. Both forms of food addiction can be dangerous to the health of the addict and can require behavioral health treatment.
  • Work addiction - Work addiction is often not seen as a problem by many. The goal is to work hard to achieve the finer things in life or success. When an addict becomes addicted to work, he or she will spend countless hours away from home.The person cannot stop thinking about work and is driven by the desire to do well or support family. Work addiction can take a toll on one's health and relationships.
  • Exercise addiction - Exercise addiction often begins with a desire to be the healthiest person that you can be. Once a person begins exercising he or she may become consumed with the thoughts of getting bigger muscles or tighter abs. The person will spend hours of the day, often all day, every day, exercising to achieve the desired results. Exercise also releases endorphins into the body, which can relieve the stress of normal everyday activities. The problem arises when the addict begins to avoid family and friends to work out.
  • Gaming addiction - Gaming addiction is a common behavioral health addiction seen in young people. The gamer will become obsessed with achieving a high score or ranking on a specific game. Gaming addicts will sit for hours in front of the television or computer until they reach their goal. Once their first goal is obtained, they will set a new goal to achieve, perhaps with a new game. Gaming can be detrimental to health because in involves sitting all day without getting any physical activity. It is also harmful to the eyes to look at a television or computer screen all day long.
  • Shopping addiction - Shopping addiction is a way to achieve a high from purchasing new items. A shopaholic will often shop for no reason other than to browse their favorite store. This leads to impulse purchases that are often never needed. Someone with a shopping addiction will often apply for credit cards with large charge accounts because he or she cannot afford to fund their habit. This can result in the inability to pay bills and you could possibly lose everything including a place to live.

If you have any questions concerning these types of behavioral addiction, you can contact our national hotline at 1-800-928-9139 to discuss the behavioral health treatment with one of our qualified treatment advisors.

Warning Signs of Behavioral Addiction

Addiction of any kind is a type of behavioral health disease. When a person suffers from a disease, they will begin to show warning signs. These signs can help you identify when a family member or friend is in need of behavioral health treatment. Signs of addiction can include:

"One of the first warning signs of addiction are changes in a person’s behavior."

    • Changes in personality - One of the first warning signs of addiction are changes in a person's behavior. You will begin to notice unexplained mood swings, such as showing signs of aggression or irritability. You may also notice that he or she is no longer motivated to do anything other than focus on the addiction. A child that was once involved in sports may no longer want to play because it would mean being away from online friends.
    • Health problems - Health problems often arise when one begins to suffer from addiction. This is typical of any addiction, including alcoholism and drug abuse. Problems can include memory loss, nosebleeds, headaches, irregular sleep patterns and constant fatigue.
    • Changes in appearance - When one suffers from addiction, he or she may begin to care less about appearance. You may notice that he or she no longer showers or engages in other grooming rituals. A woman may no longer put on make-up, and a child may stop changing clothes and insist on wearing the same thing day after day.
    • Mental problems - Addiction can often cause mental issues. Keep in mind that most addicts are already predisposed to behavioral problems. This puts them at a higher risk for symptoms of mental disorders, such as hallucinations or hearing voices. The person may also have a difficult time focusing on anything other than the addiction. Mental issues definitely call for behavioral health treatment.
    • Emotional issues - An addict may become overly sensitive when asked about the addiction. You may find that he or she gets very angry or depressed if not allowed to pursue the addiction. This can be damaging for relationships because the addict may say things out of anger.

"Job performance can suffer when an individual wants to concentrate all of his or her time on a video game or workout..."

  • Changes in performance at school or work-addicts find that normal activities that once brought joy no longer have the same effect. A good student may stop studying and begin to get bad grades or he or she may begin to skip class and not make up the work. If you are the parent of a teen who is addicted to anything, you may find that you are getting reports from teaches saying the child no longer wants to work. Job performance can suffer when an individual wants to concentrate all of his or her time on a video game or workout instead of being at work. This will result in low performance at school or work and can result in failure.
  • Changes in behavior at home - Often an addict will no longer want to be around those who will question their behavior. The person may hide behind locked doors to avoid letting other people know that they have a problem. For example, a teenager may avoid spending time with the family because he or she wants to be playing video game instead.
  • Lack of interest in possessions - A person who is suffering from addiction may often give things away because the only thing he or she cares about is the addiction. An addict may find that other possessions are simply in the way. The addict will also try to sell personal belongings to get money for the addiction.

If you believe that you, or someone you love, needs help finding behavioral health treatment, call the free national referral hotline 1-800-928-9139 to find help. It is always confidential, private and secure.

Behavioral Addiction Treatment

support groupAdmitting that you have a problem with addiction is one of the first steps in overcoming the addiction. The best way to overcome your addiction is to seek out a good treatment program. Successful treatment varies depending on the individual and the type of addiction that you are suffering from. Some addictions are easier to overcome than others.

The most popular methods of behavioral health treatment include individual therapy and group support. Individual therapy allows the addict to discuss the addiction with their doctor and learn what triggers the addictive behaviors. Individual therapy will provide you with new ways to focus your energy, such as developing a new hobby or interest. Your doctor may also use medications to help you deal with the depression that can result from withdrawal. Antidepressants can help you fight depression without needing to participate in addictive behaviors.

Support groups work by allowing you to associate with others who have been through, or are going through, the same thing you are dealing with. These types of groups stemmed from Alcoholics Anonymous, which was formed to help those suffering from alcohol addiction. Other support groups range from Eaters Anonymous to Narcotics Anonymous. All these groups are free of charge to its members, and the only requirement is that you are fighting some sort of addiction. Addicts who use a support group have a much higher success rate in beating addiction than those who rely on therapy alone. Often groups will brainstorm to help find ways to cope with certain situations. Members often share their own experiences and what works for them. Support groups are an important key to behavioral health treatment.If you have any questions concerning behavioral health addiction you can contact our national hotline at 1-800-928-9139 to discuss addiction treatment with one of our qualified treatment advisors.

The 12-Step Method

Support groups use a 12-step method to help their members follow a guide to get through the behavioral health treatment. The basis of these steps is nearly the same for every group. The 12 steps include:

  1. First and foremost, you should admit that you have a problem, and you are powerless over your addiction.
  2. Believe in a power that is greater than yourself that can save you from the addiction.
  3. Make a conscious decision to turn your life over to God so that he can help heal you.
  4. Take an inventory of yourself.
  5. Admit to God, yourself and others that your actions were wrong.
  6. Ask God to remove all of your defects of character.
  7. Ask God to remove all of your shortcomings.
  8. Make a list of everybody that you have hurt while you were suffering from the addiction and decide what you can do to make it up to them.
  9. Go to each person on your list and ask for forgiveness and what you can do to make amends.
  10. Continue to take personal inventory of yourself as you progress through your behavioral addiction treatment.
  11. Pray and meditate so that you will find yourself at peace from the addiction.
  12. Help others in their fight against addiction. Help teach them ways that they can use to remain clean.

Types of Mental Health Disorders

Mental disorders often go hand in hand with many types of addictions. This is because addiction is a type of mental illness. Addiction is a disease that is usually fought for life. Most mental health disorders require some type of behavioral health treatment. They can affect the way a person thinks, interacts with others and how he or she feels and functions in everyday life. There are a wide variety of mental health disorders. Some of these mental health disorders include:

 

Anxiety Disorders

These types of disorders range from panic disorder, stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias. Anxiety disorders usually are the result of fear of something. The symptoms of an anxiety disorder can include panic attacks, shortness of breath, worry, irregular sleep patterns and eating disorders.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are not only a type of behavioral disorder, but they are also a mental disorder.

Childhood Disorders

Childhood disorders include mental disorders that are typically associated with childhood but also those that can be carried into adulthood. Some childhood disorders can include Asperger's disorder, ADHD, separation anxiety and Tourette's.

Mood Disorders

Mood disorders are a type of mental disorder that affect the way a person feels and functions on a day-to-day basis. Examples of mood disorders are manic-depressive and bipolar disorders.When a person suffers from a mood disorder, he or she may have little to no control over emotions. People suffering from mood disorders often do not remember doing the things that they did, including displaying emotional outbursts or sudden changes in behavior. Those with mood disorders often do things spontaneously that can put themselves and others in danger.

Cognitive Disorders

These disorders include obsessive-compulsive disorders and paranoid personality disorders. Individuals who fall into this category may find that they are obsessed with something. For example, people who suffer from an obsessive-compulsive disorder may find that they are obsessed with rules and have an exact method of doing things. They often find themselves checking more than once to see if they locked a door or checking to see if they turned off the coffee pot. They may also feel that their way is the only right way to do something. These individuals have an extremely high risk for addiction because they already are predisposed to addictive behaviors.

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders and psychotic disorders are another form of mental disorder that almost always requires behavioral health treatment. Persons with these types of mental disorders include schizophrenics and those with other extreme mental illnesses.

Factoids:

Behavioral addictions often have the same symptoms as drug and alcohol addictions.

 

The high felt from behavioral addictions is due to the release of serotonin or adrenalin in the brain when the person participates in the addictive behavior.

 

The National Institute of Health states that genetic predispositions are one of the leading causes of the development of an addiction.

 

Someone with a behavioral addiction often wants to stop the behavior but finds it difficult because he or she needs to maintain the serotonin levels in the brain to feel well.