What is Compulsive Behavior?
Compulsive behavior involves an action that, on its own, is not physically addictive - such as eating, gambling, shopping, internet use, or sex. It is defined as a behavior that is conducted repeatedly due to a strong impulse – often against the best interest of the individual. The lack of a physical addiction separates this condition from alcohol and drug abuse/dependence, but compulsive behavior can still be very harmful, and should not go untreated.
The list of compulsive behaviors is wide-ranging, and can include any day-to-day activity that has become overpowering and destructive in an individual's life. Compulsive behaviors are a recognized psychological condition in the mental health community, due to the frequency of the behavior and the overall affect on quality of life.