Process addictions, sometimes called “behavioral addictions,” are compulsions or behaviors that a person will continually engage in despite the negative impact on the person’s day to day living or overall mental health. Often a person will continually engage in a behavior despite the behavior causing significant harm to the person.  

Examples of process addictions include (but are not limited to):  

  • Shopping/compulsive spending (estimated 7.4% of college students, NLM)  
  • Compulsive exercise (estimated between 11-17% of college students, NLM)  
  • Technology/internet use (over 70% of college students are estimated to be “moderate” to “severe” users of technology, NIH) 
  • Gaming (estimated 1 in 20 college students, US News) 
  • Gambling (estimated between 6% of college students, CollegeGambling.org)  
  • Self-Injury (estimated that 23% of college students self-harm- Healthy Minds, 2021).  
  • Sex, intimacy, or relationships (estimated increase over the last ten years, no specific number) 
  • Compulsions related to the experience of obsessive-compulsive disorder.  

If you are experiencing a process addiction or are experiencing harmful behaviors that impact you, you are not alone. 

Resources 

SSAC can assist with:  

  • Non-judgmental guidance in examining your behaviors and sources of coping and support. 
  • Support navigating resources both on and off campus. This support includes finding treatment teams, therapists, health providers, group programs, and other helpful resources.  
  • Support round the ways in which your behaviors may be impacting your academics, work, and other obligations.  
  • Talking about concerns you have for a loved one or another Mason student around their behaviors or process addictions.  
  • Connecting you to a recovery community (Patriots for Recovery) to engage in healing and recovery with the support of staff and peers. 
  • SSAC is a non-clinical supportive resource and therefore does not provide diagnosis, therapy, or therapeutic intervention. However, SSAC is happy to assist you in finding the right resources for you for those services.  

The Student Support and Advocacy Center is here for you!