Anything in our lives that has the power to alter our mood can become addictive. All 'addicts' are chasing an emotional high - whether it is alcohol, other types of substance misuse, eating disorders, sexual behaviours, or even compulsive shopping.
In the early stages of addictive behaviour we are trying to increase feelings of pleasure through carrying out certain behaviours. These actions progressively become more a part of everyday life. Even when we are not indulging in the addictive behaviour, a lot of time may be taken up with thinking about 'acting out' or resisting acting out. Sometimes the desire for the emotional intensity of the high is so intense that it blots out our need for intimacy and closeness with others, which can have strongly negative impacts.
One of the first actions we can take to modify our addictive behaviour is to externalise it - to move out of the 'trance' that the desire for the behaviour causes. We need to acknowledge to ourselves (and appropriate others) that there is a problem and we genuinely want to change it... to wake up out of our trance and fall out of love with the addictive life style.