Do 12 Step Programs Help with Behavioral Disorders?
Yes, 12 Step programs do help with behavioral disorders. The same methods that programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous use work for other disorders as well. Another name for behavioral disorders is behavioral addiction. This is the compulsion to do something, such as gamble or eat even though it causes you harm. Many of the more common behavioral disorders have 12 Step programs already associated with them.
Common Behavioral Disorders Treated by 12 Step Programs
Although just about any behavioral disorder or behavioral addiction is treatable by a 12 Step program. There are a few very common 12 Step programs for behavioral disorders.
- Gambling Disorder – according to the National Library of Medicine, compulsive gambling is one highly treatable by a 12 Step community based program.
- Compulsive Hoarding – Hoarders Anonymous is the 12 Step program for compulsive hoarders.
- Overeating Disorder – unlike other eating disorders this 12 Step program is specifically for people who simply cannot stop eating.
- Hyper sexuality or Sexual Addiction – in this disorder a person is addicted to the pleasure of sex or masturbation. There are a variety of different 12 step programs that help this particular addiction including Sexaholics Anonymous, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, and Sex Addicts Anonymous.
- Video Game Addiction – although playing video games is relaxing for some, it can be harmful if it goes too far. There is a 12 Step group called Gamers Anonymous that helps with video game addiction.
More and more 12 step programs become available as behavioral addictions are more recognized as actual treatable disorders.
How 12 Step Programs Help Behavioral Disorders
12 Step programs help behavioral disorders by providing community help and a social atmosphere where the person is away from the object of their addiction or disorder. A compulsive gambler can go to a meeting instead of the casino or an overeater can go to a meeting rather than continuing to eat.
The structure and spirituality that 12 Step programs entail help people to establish a form of control over their addiction. The basic premise of these 12 Step programs is to stop the behavior and solve the addiction through taking things slowly and sticking to the program.
The sharing portion of the program allows addict to feel less alone because they are with others who suffer from the same problems. Those in the group have similar experiences and similar problems. This sharing just like traditional group therapy has a positive benefit for those who cannot stop the behavior.
Members of the group often plan activities and other events to both learn how to live without the behavior and to stop themselves from continuing the behavior. These events can range anywhere from parties to hiking and other outings.
Where to Find a 12 Step Program for Behavioral Disorders
Although there are many 12 Step programs available, finding the right one for your behavioral disorder is important. If you have a behavioral disorder or addiction, we can help you find the 12 Step treatments that you need. Call us at 1-800-895-1695.