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Teen Process Addiction

SunCloud Health offers both Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP). Our PHP runs Monday through Friday from 9am-3:30pm, while our IOP is available three to five times weekly from 4-7pm. Both programs are available at our Naperville, Chicago, and Northbrook centers. Designed for adolescents requiring varying levels of support, we provide dedicated time for schoolwork and maintain direct collaboration with their schools. Our approach sets us apart from other programs in the Chicago region. We specialize in treating depression, substance use disorder, eating disorders, anxiety, PTSD, school refusal, and other behavioral health conditions. Please contact us for an assessment to determine if our offerings are the right fit for the needs of your child, patient, or student.

Process Addiction Treatment for Adolescents

Process addiction is rising among teenagers. These addictions include video game addiction, teen internet addiction, and teen exercise addiction to name a few, all can be extremely problematic. The stress of the world health problems, societal unrest, changes in educational settings, an increased expectation to stay digitally connected and raging hormonal activity of the teenage years are all contributing factors. It’s no surprise that teens are turning to process addictions to help guard themselves from these difficult feelings. Compulsive process addictions can lead to other process addictions (compounding the problem) if not properly treated.

At SunCloud Health, we work with teenagers (and families) to help them overcome process addiction(s) and gain the skills to re-engage with today’s stressors in a healthy way. We help teens lead more fulfilling lives by identify the underlying causes and how to deal with them without addictive behaviors.

VIDEO: How does collaborative care work at SunCloud Health?

What is Teen Process Addiction?

Teen process addiction occurs when a particular activity gives so much pleasure to a teenager that they focus excessively on that activity. They may neglect or avoid other aspects of their life in order to focus solely on this activity. The compulsive behaviors associated with teen process addiction can wreak havoc on their interpersonal relationships, academic performance, mental happiness and physical health.


Dr. Alexander Chevalier, Medical Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at SunCloud Health, details the questions parents should be asking when looking for a treatment provider.

When teenagers are unable to move beyond a process addiction, they can carry the addiction into their life for years to come. This disorder could lead to greater life challenges like the loss of a homes, self-sabotaging of career opportunities, the break-down of important personal relationships, and a failure to connect intimately with others.


Hear from Dr. Chevalier on the balance school and extracurricular activities with treatment. In most cases, coursework is unaffected and can be improved while a student is out of school receiving treatment.

VIDEO: Our adolescent program summarized

Types of Teen Process Addictions

There are many different types of teen process addictions. Although not all of these addictions have not been formally classified in the DSM, they are all indicative of compulsive behaviors similar to that of an alcoholic or gambler. In 2018, the World Health Organization listed ICD (internet gaming disorder) as an official disorder that led to “significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, or occupational functioning.”

Other issues include sleep deprivation, depression, aggressive or violent behavior, lack of physical activity, and physical health issues. A variety of these issues show up in teen process addiction disorders regardless of the type of addiction.

At SunCloud Health we work to treat teen a wide range of process addictions including; internet, exercise, and shopping.

Your teenager has a full life ahead of them if you take action now and work to reverse the behavioral issues present with process addiction.

VIDEO: Why consider SunCloud Health for your child

Feeling overwhelmed? We can help your teen develop the skills necessary to work past their addictions.

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Teen Internet Addiction

Teen internet addiction and teen video game addiction go hand-in-hand. When teenagers compulsively view videos or play video games without “coming up for air” (non-stop), we see dramatic shifts in their personality and behavior. There are thousands of stories like this one, where a once outgoing teen shifts to an isolated, withdrawn teenager, spending the majority of their time online.

As many as 92% of teens end up online every day and 24% of teens report being “online constantly” according to this Pew Research Center study. If your teen is spending the majority of their day online, it’s time to take action. Teen internet addiction is not about prohibiting teenagers from using the internet or from playing video games, it is about teaching teenagers how to manage time and their interactions with the internet.

Teen Exercise Addiction

Teen exercise addiction tends to be focused on a desire to look a specific way. Teenagers may want to appear thin, gain muscle, have stronger cheekbones or chins, or any number of specific physical characteristics. With teen exercise addiction, teens believe that they can control their bodies through intense exercising which leads to overexercising.

Overexercising is detrimental to a teenager’s health. It also often raises the likelihood of a teenager developing an eating disorder that can be co-occurring. Teenagers with teen exercise addiction feel guilty when they do not exercise and may experience pain, injury and potentially body dysmorphia.

If your teenager is constantly pushing themselves physically through fitness, it’s time to consider whether or not your teen would benefit from process addiction treatment.

Teen Shopping Addiction

Teen shopping addiction is a way for teenagers to get a dopamine high and can easily become a pattern of compulsive behavior for teens who are looking for a substance free way to feel euphoric or high. Compulsive shopping and impulsive shopping are different and can co-occur with teen shopping addiction.

Bad habits can develop quickly for teens with shopping addictions and can quickly escalate to legal trouble. Buying more than they can afford can potentially landslides into stealing if they run out of cash (or credit) to keep up with their addiction. Shopping addiction treatment is more than curbing spending, it’s about helping teens develop a healthier relationship with self-image and understanding the underlying need to shop. Shopping addiction must be addressed to allow teens to become healthy, responsible adults.

We can help your teen recover from teen shopping addiction. Reach out to our process addiction treatment team at SunCloud Health.

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SunCloud Health Teen Process Addiction Treatment

At SunCloud Health, we move beyond the one-treatment fits all approach with our proven integrated treatment model. We focus on and treat the underlying traumas and co-occurring i disorders with a custom treatment plan for each teen.


Dr. Kim Dennis, MD, CEDS, explains how SunCloud Health treats co-occurring disorders.

We are approved by the Joint Commission, a member of REDC, approved by the Illinois Department of Human Services, a member of the Eating Disorders Coalition, and on the President’s Council for the IAEDP (International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals).

VIDEO: What we do in Treatment at SunCloud Health

SunCloud Health Process Addiction Treatment Success

Teenagers who successfully complete process addiction treatment at SunCloud Health go on to live healthier lives, no longer trapped by their addictions.


Dr. Alexander Chevalier, Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at SunCloud Health, gives parents helpful advice on what to look for when considering treatment centers their child.

Process addiction treatment is a long-term solution that sets teenagers up to go into adulthood with healthy coping mechanisms, and the ability to make changes when they notice unhealthy behaviors and move forward in order to live their best life. Removing process addiction from your teen’s life is critical. It’s time to get help.

VIDEO: What to expect when starting in our adolescent program

Meet our Adolescent Medical Leadership Team

  • Alexander Chevalier, MD
    Alexander Chevalier, MD
    Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Kimberly Dennis, MD, CEDS
    Kimberly Dennis, MD, CEDS
    Chief Medical Officer, CEO and Co-founder | Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
  • Johnathan Coleman, MD
    Johnathan Coleman, MD



Mike Mehta, DO, MBA, Psychiatrist at SunCloud Health, on what he likes about child and adolescent psychiatry.

Get your teenager the help they need today. Let’s help your teen engage in life again and gain the skills that will lead to a promising future.

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DASA License. Department of Alcohol and Substance Abuse.
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