Menu Close

Is Your Hobby Actually an Addiction? 5 Signs You Have a Behavioral Addiction

Person disregarding signs of behavioral addiction

It’s not just drugs that can warp your mind, undermine your health, and harm your family relationships. You may also be prone to developing behavioral addictions, also called process addictions. But what are the signs of behavioral addiction, and when would you need to enroll in behavioral addiction treatment programs? Contact our knowledgeable and experienced team at Ashwood Recovery online or call 888.341.3607 today to learn more about behavioral addiction symptoms and how our treatment center in Boise, Idaho, can help you or your loved one.

5 Signs of Behavioral Addiction

Behavioral addictions are as risky as substance addictions—they trigger similar brain chemical changes. However, unlike drugs, many potentially addictive behaviors like sex, shopping, and gaming are part of daily life. It’s tricky to distinguish between passion for a hobby and a harmful addiction. These five signs strongly indicate an addiction, not just a hobby.

1. Your Hobby Puts Your Well-Being at Risk

It’s common to overspend at the mall occasionally and be late because you lost track of time. But if a habit like sex addiction leads to cheating or shopping addiction causes significant debt, it’s not just a hobby—it’s an addiction. The signs of your “hobby” being an addiction are the following:

  • When it causes you to feel guilty, anxious, or depressed
  • When it jeopardizes your physical and mental health
  • When it puts you in harm’s way

Behavioral addiction treatment centers can help you identify and break out of destructive behaviors.

2. You Lie to Others About How You Spend Your Time

We all tell social lies from time to time. It’s not your mother’s business whom you have sex with, and your kids don’t need to know every detail of your day. But if you lie to the people who love you about how you’re spending your time, this signals a problem. For example, you may have a problem if you mislead your spouse about how much you spend shopping or tell your family you’re working when you’re playing video games all day.

3. You React More Strongly to Your Hobby Than Most Other People Do

Having an addiction can lead to heightened excitement during the activity and increased low feelings afterward. Reacting intensely to one hobby compared to others might signal a problem. For example, feeling devastated if you can’t shop or quitting a job for more gambling time could indicate an addiction issue.

4. You Get Anxious or Depressed When You Can’t Indulge Your Hobby

Everyone enjoys spending time on their favorite pastime, and there’s nothing wrong with this. But if you need to regularly and consistently indulge in a hobby to feel “normal,” it’s time to seek help. Hobbies should add relaxation and joy to your life, not create stress when you have to pull yourself away.

5. Your Loved Ones Have Expressed Concern

Everyone has those who don’t get how they spend time. The orchid lover’s spouse may question plant expenses, while book enthusiasts find it hard to explain the joy of reading to others. If a handful of people don’t “get” your hobby, that’s fine. But if your loved ones have expressed more severe concerns—by telling you they think your hobby is dangerous or that they’re worried about your finances, for instance—it’s time to consider the possibility that you may have an addiction.

Connect with Ashwood Recovery for More Information on Behavioral Addiction Treatment in Boise, Idaho

Ashwood Recovery is here to help you and your loved ones overcome addiction and other disordered behaviors. Our counseling programs have already helped many clients regain their lives. Contact us online or call 888.341.3607 now to start your journey to recovery today. Don’t let addiction and other dangerous behaviors go untreated and cause extreme emotional, mental, and physical hurt and harm to yourself and those around you.