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Addictions can take an array of different forms. Drug and alcohol addictions involve putting a substance into our bodies to get a reaction from our brains. These reactions can make us feel powerful, happy, alert, or numb. We might be using these substances to avoid the pain that we have experienced due to traumatic events. Process addictions can work in a similar manner. Process addictions can be defined much like an addiction to a substance. We might be engaging in a particular behavior or process to distract ourselves from feeling any pain. Sex addiction, over-eating, and gambling are some examples of process addictions. They involve engaging in a process or behavior compulsively and seemingly without control. We may be using these processes to release the natural “feel-good” chemicals in our brains. When we use these processes to cope with stress or negative emotions–or to avoid feeling anything–we might become addicted.

Process addictions can be confusing to understand, as many people engage in these activities in moderation and without the issues of addiction. Remember that this is no different than drug or alcohol addiction–some people can drink in moderation and others struggle with control. Process addictions can be treated similarly to drug and alcohol addictions; however, process addictions may be stigmatized and difficult for people to seek treatment. People suffering from process addictions, like substance addictions, may have underlying issues of trauma that they are trying to avoid. By discovering the root of our problems, we can better manage our process addictions and begin to heal from our pain.


Process addictions can be just as powerful and difficult to treat as drug or alcohol addictions. Process addictions, like sexual addictions, gambling problems, or over-eating, may make a person feel shame and like they do not deserve recovery. They may feel like they are weak or have a deep inner character flaw that makes them unworthy of a healthy, happy life. Process addictions may be used as a means of avoiding the pain of trauma in a person’s life. They may have used a process to numb themselves from pain or to experience fleeting feelings of happiness. The Guest House is a place that is free of judgment for those struggling with process addictions. Call us today at (855) 483-7800 to begin learning healthy ways of coping with trauma. Hope and healing are possible and you deserve to be happy!