Behavioural Addiction

Behavioural Rehab at Castle Craig

Overcome Addictive Behaviours with Our Evidence-Based Approach.

Castle Craig Is a World-Renowned Behavioural Rehab Treatment Centre

Castle Craig is a world-renowned residential rehabilitation clinic that treats alcoholism, addiction to street drugs and prescription drugs and other behavioural addictions such as gambling

behavioural rehab

What Are Behavioural Addictions?

While alcohol and drugs are often the first things that come to mind when one hears the word ‘addiction’, for many, a behaviour, not a chemical substance, is the source of addiction. 

Behavioural or process addictions can resemble alcohol or drug addiction in many ways.

They stimulate the dopamine pathway in the brain, resulting in a short-term reward that can lead to compulsivity despite adverse consequences. Problem gambling and problem gaming are classified under the DSM-V as addictive behaviours and can be treated with a CBT approach. Gambling and gaming are the only behavioural addictions classified under the DSM-5, the leading diagnostic manual for psychiatric professionals.

It is possible to develop an addiction or compulsion to many activities or behaviours. This is also known as ‘a process addiction’.

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Examples of Behavioural Addiction

Only gambling and gaming are classified as addictions by DSM-5, the leading diagnostic guide for mental health professionals.

But many healthcare providers believe these activities can become compulsive and have distressing consequences on a person’s life, resulting in addictive behaviours. Some ‘behavioural addictions‘ can include:

  • Gambling /Gaming
  • Sex and porn, eating or Internet use
  • Shopping and Plastic surgery
  • Compulsive hoarding

Many of these activities pose no problem when engaged occasionally. However, when the ‘process’ or ‘behaviour’ becomes compulsive, it will significantly negatively impact a person’s life, and the person will find it hard to stop. 

Gambling Addiction

Gambling can completely take over a person’s life when gambling becomes compulsive, leading to serious financial difficulties, problems at work or in studies, dysfunctional family relationships, and sometimes suicide. 

Other behaviours can also become compulsive such as eating, shopping, browsing the internet and porn and sex. We can address these compulsive behaviours as a secondary addiction only. This means that we can only address gambling addiction outside of alcohol and drugs. More.


Secondary Behavioural Addictions Treated

Gaming Addiction

Gaming can become compulsive due to the reward system set up in the games – when players are rewarded by winning or beating a top score.

Some multi-player games have no end, and the gamer is immersed in a new world, a new life, a new body which they play out in real-time. Some people can play these games for hours, completely neglecting their real everyday lives and relationships.

Eating Disorders

We also address eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or binge eating disorder if they accompany the addiction.

However, we can’t offer the specialist care and intense oversight necessary for an acute eating disorder. So instead, we treat eating disorders with a CBT-based approach and through our eating disorders group. 

Our Consultant Psychiatrists assess whether they will be able to treat patients who have an eating disorder alongside their addiction to alcohol or drugs during the assessment process. 

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What Triggers a Behavioural Addiction?

People can slide into a behavioural addiction such as compulsive gambling or gaming as a way to cope with other factors in their life, such as:

  • To relieve pressure, stress, or boredom,
  • An escape from abuse or trauma,
  • An escape from abusive relationships,
  • A relief from grief or loneliness,
  • Substituting for another addiction (i.e cross-addiction)

Acknowledging the Addiction

Recognising the signs of a behavioural addiction can be difficult, especially if the behaviour doesn’t seem to have a pronounced impact on your physical health, especially if others around you are doing the same thing.

If compulsive behaviour: gambling, gaming, shopping, social media, internet use, promiscuity, is damaging your life and is all you can think about and all you want to make time for, if you are facing bankruptcy and family breakdown, then you need help.

Overcoming a Behavioural Addiction


  • When you contact Castle Craig for your behavioural addiction, you will first undergo an assessment. An assessment helps us understand your current state, determine the best course of action and begin formulating a plan to help you.
  • You will be asked some basic questions over the phone and receive more in-depth psychological and clinical evaluations when you arrive for treatment. 

Treatment for Behavioural Addiction

At Castle Craig, we do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach to treating behavioural addictions like gambling or gaming. Instead, we treat each patient who comes here as a unique individual with specific needs. Our expert staff of addiction specialists will work with you to create a personalised treatment programme to help you overcome your behavioural addiction in a warm, supportive environment.

Our treatment for behavioural addictions includes:

  • CBT Cognitive behavioural therapy targets the specific causes of the behavioural addiction and helps prevent relapse in the future
  • Group therapy – with people who are going through the same thing as you often produces results that last
  • Life skills – Patients learn to cope more effectively and positively with difficult situations in the real world
People hugging in group therapy

Deciding to undergo residential addiction treatment at Castle Craig is the beginning of a life-long journey from admission and detox to relapse prevention and discharge. Our patients leave us in excellent health and carrying a set of therapeutic skills and tools that last a lifetime, including:

  • Impulse control
  • Therapeutic tools to combat negative feelings
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy  (CBT) problem-solving skills
  • Relapse prevention techniques
  • Holistic therapy aids for mind, body, and spirit
  • New, healthy dietary and fitness habits
  • 12 Step fellowship/New sober friends
  • Strong support networks that last a lifetime.

Can the 12 Steps Help All Addictions?

12 Step treatment and CBT have proven records in treating behavioural addiction. For example, in Step 1, a patient can break through the denial, admit that they have a problem, and ask for help. We introduce our patients to the 12 Steps at an early stage through group therapy & reading materials.

Our Foundation treatment programme brings patients through steps 1-5 at Castle Craig. Patients can move on to our Advanced programme after an assessment and continue treatment for a more extended period.

On top of this, we provide medical treatment, psychiatric care and specialised therapies such as:

Getting Help

When you or someone you care about is struggling with a behavioural addiction such as gambling or gaming, your life may feel out of control.

However, with professional guidance and support from the team at Castle Craig, it is possible to repair damaged family relationships, improve your physical and mental health and find freedom from the addictive cycle. We have over 30 years of experience helping people in your position recover.

  • We understand how behavioural addictions work,
  • We use the latest research into the neuroscience behind behavioural addictions to guide us,
  • We can help you overcome behavioural addictions through our evidence-based treatment programme. 
  • We offer a professional, structured treatment programme for behavioural addictions to help you and your loved one enter recovery and leave the cycle of addiction behind. 

As a trusted partner of Castle Craig, one of the UK’s leading residential addiction treatment centers, CATCH Recovery offers a seamless continuum of care for patients transitioning from residential treatment to outpatient care. This ensures that patients receive the best possible support and care throughout their recovery journey.

Experts You Can Trust

With a wealth of knowledge and services to help you regain control of your life, request a call-back from one of our professionals today. The choice you make today could change your life forever.

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