Autism and Process Addictions

The term “autism” is used to describe a variety of disorders that negatively affect the mental, emotional, and behavioral processes of certain people. There are many types of autism and each can range in severity from frustrating to debilitating. The most common forms of autism are as follows:

  • Asperger syndrome
  • Classic autism
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder
  • Rett syndrome
  • Autistic development disorders not otherwise specified

A great deal of mystery still surrounds the causes of autism. As the frequency of diagnosis continues to increase, so does the amount of research investigating this challenging disorder. This research helps to develop and perfect treatment and management techniques.

Autism and Impulse Control Disorders

One of the most common symptoms shared by several types of autism is an inability to control impulses. It is common for autistic people to engage in a wide range of compulsive behaviors, including the following:

  • Obsessive hand washing or other ritualistic habits
  • Cutting or other forms of self-harm
  • Compulsive stealing or lying
  • Uncontrollable sexual behaviors
  • Verbal outbursts
  • Anger management issues

These kinds of compulsive behaviors can develop into process addictions that are extremely difficult for anyone to overcome. Autistic people, however, face unique challenges as they confront these disorders. The part of the brain that is most closely related to impulse control and the formation of habits is also central to the process of addiction. The process of changing these extreme compulsive habits is much more difficult for autistic people who already suffer from autism-related compulsions. With the proper care, however, autistic people can overcome their process addictions.

Effective Treatment for Autism and Process Addictions

Autistic individuals, or their loved ones, should choose their treatment programs very carefully. The specialized Dual Diagnosis treatment they need is not available everywhere, but the number of effective and comprehensive programs is on the rise. The most successful centers offer the following features:

  • Individual cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Support group treatment
  • Practitioners who are specially trained to treat both autism and process addictions
  • A comprehensive and fully integrated physical and emotional treatment regimen
  • Ongoing aftercare and sobriety support following release from rehab

The best treatment programs understand that no two addicts are exactly alike. Each patient deserves his or her own unique and thorough diagnosis and personal attention. Although it can be hard for the individual to imagine at first, freedom from these painful compulsions is possible.

Autism and Process Addiction Helpline

If you are struggling with symptoms of a process addiction alongside autism, we can help. Call our toll-free helpline right now for free, confidential, no-strings-attached advice. We can answer any questions you have about treatment, costs, insurance coverage and how to find the most effective program for your unique situation.

Overcoming a process addiction while coping with autism is a challenge; our staff members are ready to help. Call now.

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