Although many times teen addictions are referred to with regard to substances, there are also teen behavioral addictions, in which teens become addicted to certain behaviors and as such, perform them compulsively. In these cases, the behaviors become obligatory, as teens are no longer able to control if or when they perform them, and even despite awareness that the behaviors have negative effects. This compulsive behavior can be very dangerous, as teens lose their ability to to ensure their safety and well-being. Some examples of common teen behavioral addictions include but aren’t limited to:
Teen Behavioral Addictions Symptoms
The most dominating characteristic of teen behavioral addictions are the compulsive, repetitive, and harmful behaviors. The harmful nature of the behaviors is such that it disrupts multiple areas of the teens’ lives. For instance, many teens with behavioral addictions also suffer in academic performance, experience negative effects in relationships with friends and family members, tend to feel apathetic toward once-enjoyed activities, and have a tendency to withdraw from others.
It’s also important to note that Teen Behavioral Addictions commonly exist as co-occurring disorders, alongside conditions such as teen anxiety and/or teen depression. In some cases, the teens initially retreat into the behaviors for enjoyment or a sort of escape from their thoughts and feelings, but over time, the behaviors actually end up aggravating and complicating the underlying symptoms.
Paradigm San Francisco Teen Behavioral Addictions Treatment
One of our first priorities in teen behavioral addictions treatment is making sure we understand all pertinent factors at play. To this end, we pay special care in diagnosis of co-occurring disorders, to recognize whether any mental illnesses are present. From there, we design teen behavioral addictions treatment according to teens’ individual symptoms, struggles, interests, and strengths. We work with teens in individual and group therapy sessions to address teens’ outward symptoms, as well as the underlying emotional causes and stressors, which have likely gone unaddressed. Our therapists work with teens in talk therapy and behavioral therapy strategies, to help teens understand what kinds of thought patterns and belief systems are in place, and how behaviors have resulted from these deeper emotional underpinnings. In this sense, our goal in providing treatment at Paradigm San Francisco is not just to help teens overcome their current struggles, but to support teens in all areas of their lives, in order to help them improve and secure their best, happiest lives, both now and moving forward.