Do you have a persistent need to consume a substance or commit an act which is overwhelming and irresistible impulse to act? This is called compulsion. Compulsive acts is preceded by obsessive, intrusive thoughts that compel a person to act, whereas an addiction is more of a habit that is not necessarily accompanied by obsessive thinking. Any compulsive behavior can become an addiction. Compulsive behaviors include chronic gambling, substance abuse, gambling, sexual addiction, hoarding, unrestrained shopping and spending, excessive exercise, internet gaming, eating issues, and other behaviors. A compulsive behavior becomes an addiction when the act is no longer able to be controlled and impairs a person’s ability to function socially, academically, and professionally.
Working with a therapist can be one of the most effective treatments for managing addictive behaviors. There are many types of therapy suited to address behaviors that you may want to change. Psychotherapy is designed to help you identify uncomfortable feelings and sources of distress in order to change and grow. It’s unlikely to conquer your compulsive or addictive behaviors unless you work with a therapist. A therapist can help you address underlying causes of your addiction and/or compulsive behaviors, such as stress, trauma, past abuse and others.