Top 10 List of Behavioral Addictions You Never Expect To Hear

A girl surprised after knowing the list of behavioral addictions
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I have a friend who loved fitness. He went to gym almost every day after working hours. He was really a fitness junkie. Until one day he injured himself at the gym and later admit that his wound caused by his addiction to exercise, one of the popular behavioral addictions types.

Well, when we heard a word “addiction”, commonly it will be linked with drugs or alcohol. However, addiction is not limited to this substances-type of addictions only. Addiction is actually a mental condition.

What are Behavioral Addictions and Why I Wrote About This?

A girl surprised after knowing the list of behavioral addictions

According to Wikipedia, addiction is a state characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences. In another word, addiction is an act of dependency to a particular substance, thing, or activity.

Brains of people with addiction to particular activity produced short-term reward that may generate persistence behavior. Thus, it will lead to behavioral addiction despite knowledge on the bad consequences.

What is surprising about the definition? Actually, it turns out that an activity which we thought as a common and positive at first may cause addiction if conducted excessively and followed with compulsive behavior. Oh boy, and I wrote about some positive habits you may need to adopt in order to become more successful previously.

The Top 10 List of Behavioral Addictions Type You May Never Heard About

So, even though you are doing some normal or positive habits to achieve your goal, please beware because some of them may have a tendency to become behavioral addictions. Having through my research, here are the top 10 list of behavioral addictions with real life examples that you should know.

a girl holding phone to check her social media - social media addiction1. Social Media Addiction

Social media addiction is a new type of behavior addiction which emerges from the negative sides of smartphone technology. It is a tendency to post anything and everything on social media where everyone can access it often lead to self-harm than any goodness.

Larry Carlat lost his job from tweeting excessively. He was given a choice: to delete his account or face termination. He chose Twitter. A month later, he lost his wife after tweeting “I would’ve taken a bullet for my wife, but now I’d rather be the one pulling the trigger.”

2. Exercise addiction

A person with exercise addiction may exercise for hours in daily routine and push themselves beyond the limit. When normal people take a day off, they may continue to work out regardless injuries or health problem.

On July 20, 1984, Jim Fixx goes out for a run. Just 6 kilometers, not a long distance since as a marathoner he usually runs for 16 kilometers, in 7 days a week. However, after returning from his exercise routine, he stops 40 meters from his front door. Nobody knows why, but everybody later knows he dies due to heart attack. Ironically, he jogged himself to death.

3. Tanning Addiction

Tanning addiction is a dependency on sunbathing or the use of tanning beds to receive brown skins color. It even has medial term, Tanorexia.

Laura May McMullan spent 10 years, since age 16 to use tanning bed. She used it daily in order to being brown. Later, she developed malignant melanoma, a deadliest type of skin cancer that had put her life in danger.

a couple in the bay taking selfie - selfie addiction4. Selfie Addiction

Selfie is also the new wave of pop culture. Everyone take a snap with their front or rear facing camera and uploaded it into their social media account. It seems normal, but the selfie addicts can take a thousand photos of their own face daily regardless the place or safety. Psychologist expose their personality as an extrovert or the social exhibitionist.

In some extreme cases, selfie addiction can even lead to death. Xenia Latyeva, a 17 years old Russian Girl lived in Saint Petersburg, attempt to take a selfie from 9 meters’ bridge to impress her friends. However, she fell and electrocuted as she tried to grab some live cables. She dies shortly after hitting the ground.

5. Internet Addiction

Internet addiction, or now commonly called problematic internet use, is a subset of technology addiction. People with this addiction will prefer online interaction rather than face to face interaction. The overuse of Internet often leads to unfortunate health.

Gabrilla, a student from New York, slept with her laptop. Her typical surfing session includes an array of websites. In her example: She post a status update for a song lyric, where she will Google them, find the band’s name, subsequently go to Wikipedia to discover the band’s history and led singer, and briefly his Twitter and later streaming the band’s music on Grooveshark. No wonder she keeps an extremely late bed time, sometimes at 4 A.M., daily.

6. Porn Addiction

Well, porn might be common and not that dangerous. It even suggested to improve someone sex life. However, excessive viewing of pornography may interfere with daily behavior, responsibilities, and instead reducing sex life.

Mike (not a real name) 24 years old guy, reveals the he has an unhealthy desire for underage or teenage girl. He secretly spending 3-8 hours a week to hunting images of young girls on the internet. He later acknowledges that his obsession hurt his sex life. He avoiding sexual contact with his girlfriend. He feels guilty, ashamed and preoccupied.

a person holding playstation controller - video game addiction7. Video Game Addiction

Games are fun. Online games are entertaining. I am also a gamer, but I know how and when to play and when to not. Gaming is good and I can assure this, but extreme game addiction may lead to various serious consequences.

Similar with the selfie addiction, extreme cases of video game addiction can lead to death. On December 27, 2004, Xiaoyi, a 13 years old teenager jumped from a tall building after playing World of Warcraft for 36 hours straight. He left a suicide note that saying he wanted to join the heroes of the game he worshiped.

8. Plastic Surgery Addiction

The desire for perfect looking led people to take a shortcut: plastic surgery. A typical person who undergoes one plastic surgery will be satisfied. However, people with plastic surgery addiction experience mental obsession to alter their bodies and faces.

Michael Jackson, the king of pop, initially want a different nose. However, he underwent up to 100 operations to achieve his idea of perfection. Michael had botox, bleached his skin, implanted cheek, lip augmentation, and changed the shape of his nose to point that it was so narrow and blocked the airways. However, due to excessive operations on his nose, he got a hole in his skin, a condition called as the end-stage nose, one that’s beyond the point of no return.

9. Work addiction

Workaholic is a common mental problem in almost every country. Well, since workaholic may lead into positive income, nobody notices the lurking danger from excessive non-stop work. The stress from too much working will be piled and may cause serious mental or health disorder.

Mita Dian, a former copywriter at Young and Rubicam agency in Jakarta, Indonesia, dies prior to 30 hours’ non-stop work shifts. Her last tweet was “30 hours of working and still going strooong”. A day after her last tweet, she reportedly collapsed and died.

a person grabbing foods ferociously - food addiction

10. Food addiction

Yes, you read it right. People with food addiction have an uncontrollable craving for foods, followed with desire for refined carbohydrates and sugar. An excessive amount of craving may deteriorate someone’s health in a long period, thanks to obesity. Food addiction may refer to particular kind of foods.

It is reported that Georgie Redman, an 18 years old woman from U.K., is having diet solely on instant ramen packets. Other type of food touching her plates will make her freak out. Because of her instant ramen addiction, she has a poor health as of an 80-year-old woman.

Too Little is Nothing. Too Much is Not Good.

From all of the above, there is a clear message for us. Even a common and positive activity may lead to bad consequences if conducted excessively. Please check and keep yourself to not doing something excessively, even if it something that looks common or positive.

Keep in your mind the negative effect which may occurred if your habit become too persistence and excessive. Please keep the list of behavioral addictions types so you will not fall on those addictions. If you know other behavioral addictions which seem common or positive, do leave a comment below J

Lastly, feel free to check some of the recommendations to your personal development.


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Alexander Blue

A writer, gamer, book lover, music addict, and a dreamer. My life motto is 'Every thousand mile begins with a single step'. I like to share helpful information with others because the positive feeling is contagious and it will make everyone's life better.

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  1. Katia

    Hi Alexander,

    Being someone with an EXTREMELY addictive personality I can definitely say that a lot of those hit far too close to home. Another thing I’ve found can be addictive, but I’ve never seen people really talk about, are relationships. This one I can talk about from personal experience. Some people go absolutely nuts when they’re not in a relationship, and usually when they are they act twice as nuts, again, just my personal experience.

    Thanks for the interesting read, I really enjoyed it.

    All the best,


    1. Alexander Blue (Post author)

      Hi Katia :) Wow thanks for sharing that! It is a really unique addiction. Maybe I can call it ‘in-relationship’ addiction? Well, I hope people who suffers this addiction can overcome it. Thank you for visiting and looking forward to your next visit :)

  2. Amanda

    This is really interesting. I have shared this post on Facebook as there are so many of my friends that I believe would benefit from this post. Like you said if its not drugs or alcohol no one would see it as an addition.
    My ex partner was addicted to exercise and would push himself to the extreme. He wouldn’t listen when I told him he was doing himself more harm than good.
    So many people are addicted to their phones and social media. I have to tell my partner to put his phone away when we’re out for a meal. He really struggles.

    1. Alexander Blue (Post author)

      Hello Amanda, thank you for sharing this article :) Yeah, fitness addiction is something that most people unaware of. Gadget and Social Media addiction may be common but can be quite dangerous if too much. Hope your partner can overcome it, then :)


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