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Gambling Addiction

The Dangers of Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction is on the rise. The ease by which people can now go online and spend their time in internet casinos has meant that this is a problem reaching epidemic proportions. Alcohol and drug addiction still tend to get the most attention, but there is no doubt that gambling is destroying the lives of many people. Once the individual becomes trapped in this behaviour, their life enters a downward spiral – they will still have the occasional good day, but over time, their life will be getting worse. It is vital that the person is able to break away from this behaviour as soon as possible.

The dangers of a gambling addiction would include:

  • The individual can end up with serious financial problems. This will not only negatively affect their own life but also the life of their dependents.

  • The person may be using money for gambling that could be spending on improving the welfare of their family.

  • It can lead to symptoms of depression and exacerbate mental health problems.

  • It can cause people to become so desperate that they become willing to commit suicide. Gambling addiction can be as life threatening as drug abuse.

  • It means that the individual will be missing out on many of the good things in life. Their obsession with gambling will use up all of their time and energy.

Symptoms of Gambling Addiction

If the individual is dealing with a gambling addiction, there will usually be symptoms such as:

  • The person is spending increasing amounts of time thinking about gambling.

  • They have lost interest in other activities that they used to enjoy.

  • The individual continues to gamble even though they know that they should stop.

  • People who become addicted to gambling can develop tolerance just like people who become addicted to alcohol or drugs. The individual needs to win more or risk more in order to get the same effect.

  • The individual feels that they need to engage in this behaviour in order to deal with life. They may claim that they need it to unwind after a busy day, or to deal with stress.

  • The person may suffer withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop. It makes them feel uncomfortable, and their thoughts may become preoccupied with returning to the tables.

  • They become willing to risk relationships or their job because of gambling. The person is likely to have plenty of justifications for this, but they are unlikely to hold up to much scrutiny.

  • The person may try to hide the extent of their gambling. This could mean that they start to lie about it or only engage in the activity when they are alone.

  • The individual may have periods where they feel remorseful – this is most likely to happen after a big loss.

  • They may make promises to family and friends to stop or be more careful but within a few weeks they are back to being remorseful and contrite.

  • The person may become willing to carry out unethical behaviours in order to support their addiction. This could include things like stealing money.

  • The individual seems unable to control their addiction. This loss of control is a definite sign of a gambling addiction.

  • The person who is addicted to gambling will often fall into the trap of chasing their losses. This means that after a big loss they will come back the next day to win back the money.

It is not necessary for the individual to have all of these symptoms, or even most of them, for that person to be dealing with a gambling addiction. If you are still not sure about the severity of your gambling problems, you can contact us here, and we will be happy to listen and offer advice.

Help for Gambling Addictions

In order to break away from a gambling addiction, the person affected will often need plenty of help. This is a very serious condition, so it is vital that the individual gets the help they need. There are now a number of treatment options available, but one of the most effective can be for the person to enter a residential or outpatient rehab programme. There are a number of reasons for why this can be such a good choice including:

  • This type of programme will help the individual come to terms with their situation.

  • It will give them the opportunity to examine the roots of the addiction – the reasons for why they fell into it in first place. If these roots of addiction are not dealt with the person will be at high risk of relapse or turning to new maladaptive behaviours.

  • This type of programme will provide the individual with the tools they are going to need in order to build a satisfying life.

  • It will mean that the individual will feel supported as they give up gambling, and this will magnify their own efforts and determination.

If you feel ready to break away from your gambling addiction, we will be able to help. There are now many treatment options available, and we will be able to offer advice as to the resources near you

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