Compulsive gambling addiction is a type of addiction that has become more and more common due to online gambling websites. People that suffer from a gambling addiction risk their whole lives and are even willing to cheat and steal to continue supporting their habit of gambling. It is a seemingly uncontrollable urge that a person gets to place a bet of some sort without weighing the consequences and negative effects that it may have on their lives or others.
Gambling Addiction Statistics
– According to gambling statistics, approximately 500 billion dollars are spent annually on wagers.
– In the United State, about 2.5 percent of adults are considered problem gamblers
– this type of addiction is most common among white Americans.
– it is commonly associated with alcoholism
– People with this addiction are more prone to diseases such as depression and mood swing disorder.
– The divorce rate of gambler addicts are more than double that of a non-gambler.
Gambling Addict Symptoms
One of the most prominent warning symptoms of this addiction is fixation. If you hear someone constantly bring up the casinos or ways to get money to go to the casino on a consistent basis then you are probably looking at someone that has or may develop a serious gambling problem. People with gambling problems are fixated and are always planning their next excursion.
Another indicator of someone having a gambling problem is if they seem to be increasing the wagers they place on a regular basis. Gambling is like a drug for a compulsive gambler. They start off with a small amount, then increase the dosage.
Lying and alienation from family and friends is another sign that someone may have a gambling issue. A lot of people with a gambling problems know that they have a problem and feel guilty about it. It is because of this that they feel the need to lie about their whereabouts to family and friends. They may also lie about the amount that they gamble.
Alienation from family and friends is a huge sign that their gambling problem has developed into a full-blown gambling addiction. Once someone starts doing this,you know that gambling is consuming their lives. If it gets to this point, they are in danger of destroying their lives and the lives of those around them. Someone at this level should definitely seek gambling addiction counseling.
Many people out there end up completely destroying their lives by falling victim to this addiction. A lot of times they find themselves in denial and when they don’t have the funds and aren’t able to get them, to support their habit, they turn to extreme measures, such as lying and thievery. If they aren’t able to get the funds they need that way or if they aren’t willing to take this route, they become irritable, angry, depressed, and sometimes suicidal.
There is a lot of addiction information on the internet. It is important to educate yourself on this addiction if you feel that you or someone you love may be gambling problems.
For help on gambling addiction recovery you may want to look up a gamblers anonymous group in your area.
There are some successful ways to administer gambling addiction treatment. Not every gambler is the same, the best recovery programs are specifically tailored to his or her needs.
Like with all other addictions, honesty plays a crucial role, the gambler must come to terms with their addiction first and foremost. Gambling can ruin marriages for the obvious reasons, often causing serious financial damage.
It also affects one psyche and causes undue emotional strain that may affect work and family. Overcoming a gambling addiction is a challenge like most addictions, however recovery is possible with the right program and support.
Gambling addiction is not a disease as drug addiction has come to be seen, so specific gambling therapy can work. Gambling addiction treatment can effectively provide steps to recovery.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy can break gambling addiction by focusing on the decision behavior process of the gambler. If the unhealthy gambling behavior can be addressed at its root cause, it can eliminate the impact of the false beliefs and harmful rationalizations.
The key is for the gambler to recognize the motivational emotions that compel them to gamble. Gambling specific therapy teaches them how to change their behavior rather than seek the high that gambling provides.
If the gambler can better understand the emotional reasons behind why they gamble, they can develop a mental defense mechanism to resist the temptation of gambling.
The goal of the gambling specific therapy is to rewire the addicted part of the brain by finding new ways to think about gambling. If thought patterns and beliefs are altered, then the gambler can reframe their thoughts and create a lasting impact.
Gambling specific therapy provides the necessary support that gamblers need. It’s important that gamblers have a trusted counselor that they can open up to. Sometimes they’ve carried the guilt for far too long inside. Effective therapy lays out a series of steps for the gambling treatment to occur step-by-step.
Quitting gambling is generally considered the easy part, staying in permanent recovery is the challenge. It’s important to support gamblers with people to whom they can be accountable, they must stay away from tempting situations or enablers. As with other addictions, patience is vital, gamblers need to fill the void with a more positive activity.
Gamblers can pursue thrill and excitement in other endeavors. They can find hobbies or activities that they are passionate about to help replace the void. Gambling addiction treatment can enhance the quality of life.
Part of the therapy entails analyzing the underlying factors that motivate the gambler. Usually there are several factors that cause compulsive gambling. The desire to make money quickly and the excitement of the game.
If the gambler learns how to make better decisions, they can avoid the temptation. Whenever the gambler feels the urge to gamble, they should have several steps in place that they can execute.
Firstly, they can call someone to assist them in their time of need. They can also consciously remind themselves to partake in another activity.
Also to gamble, you need money, they can get rid of excessive credit cards and avoid having bundles of cash around the house. They can also block all the gambling websites on their computer. In addition, they should also inform all the gambling establishments they frequent and alert them about the recovery program.
It’s possible to successfully implement gambling addiction treatment with therapy and a plan of action. Therapy can address the reasons for gambling and effectively change thoughts and habits to a sustainable recovery.
Addiction in any form is dreadful and addiction of gambling is an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Gambling occasionally can be enjoyable, but prolonged interest in it, can turn into an obsession, compelling the gambler to gamble continuously, irrespective of whether he wins. Gambling addiction takes a toll on the addict’s finances and affects him socially, psychologically and physically. It devastates the gambler’s life and has serious consequences on family and friends.
How does gambling addiction start
People generally resort to gambling for various reasons, like curiosity, trying once and winning and getting hooked, but mostly gambling addiction is the escape route from personal relationship problems or any past or current failure in life. The simplest way someone gets addicted is to try once or twice, and with beginner’s luck, he wins, but after that he starts losing. In an effort to gain back the entire money, the gambler goes on playing, till he is left with nothing. Addicts do not hesitate to beg, borrow or steal money to continue their routine of gambling.
This situation must be tackled before it moves beyond control, but the most difficult task is to locate and identify an addict. An addict gambler is very smart to hide his characteristic traits. However, one symptom can give them away – they always try to sneak around, lie about their whereabouts and ask people to lend money.
Self-help for treating gambling addiction – What are the options?
The first step in curing gambling addiction is to confess in the presence of someone else. The presence of someone close would help the addict remain motivated to his efforts. This is the most difficult step as one who can admit that he is an addict, is half way through the curing process because most addicts shy away due to the fear of social rejection.
After the admission, the addict must avoid visiting the places where he gambles, like casinos and clubs. If he is addicted to online gambling then he must remove all sites from the computer. The next step is to engage in some fruitful activity that distracts the addict from gambling, like taking a walk, or visiting a gym.
Following natural therapies are better and safer than trying some kind of medicine, because all medicines have side effects and runs the risk of creating drug dependency. Gambling addicts can also join gambling anonymous support forums, where they can see others like them, trying to get rid of this dangerous habit.
Another step towards a better life can be self-hypnosis. An addict can either get a hypnotist / hypnotherapist, or buy a CD of self-hypnosis, or use a mix of the two methods. A hypnotist will not only hypnotize, but listen to his problems and identify the reasons for gambling and state a solution. However, if this option is not possible to avail for someone, self – hypnosis CDs is a good option too. Remember, getting rid of gambling addiction is an ongoing battle that an addict has to continue fighting unless chances of relapses end completely.
Gambling addiction is a serious mental health disorder, which can be identified in two ways: a person either a) continuously bet on things using money or objects that hold value even though negative consequences arise as a result, or, b) they cannot stop gambling even if they desired to. People suffering from gambling addiction often display a strong urge to bet on a wide-range of gambling mediums-from sports games to poker, to choosing lottery numbers and throwing dice. And although friends and family members of compulsive gamblers don’t see the symptoms physically, like they often do with alcoholics or drug abusers, the consequences gambling addiction has serious implications on their lives as well as the lives of their friends and families. Not realizing its severity or taking it too lightly can be devastating for the addicted gambler in the long run. Gamblers can reach a point of literally losing everything, from cars, to homes, to businesses, and even respect from those they care about.
It’s well-known that Florida is notorious for providing “the hotspot” for gamblers all over the world, as well as its residents. But how many gamblers actually endure financial problems? A recent survey by the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling shed light on card playing, reporting that 70% of these people had trouble paying their bills. But here’s the worst part, which is known to be a side-effect of excessive gambling–1 in 3 of these card players admitted to having participated in illicit activities in order to finance their gambling. Playing cards isn’t as harmless as we thought; criminal activity is still a cause for concern.
Gambling addicts are not always obvious about their situation; sometimes they don’t even realize it themselves. They don’t dwell on what has been lost as a result of their destructive activities and behaviors. Instead, compulsive gamblers only focus on the gains, or the supposed investment aspect of the games they play. And unlike drug or alcohol addiction, a person addicted to gambling will not display symptoms such as heavy fatigue, sickness, loss of energy or dizziness; instead, other factors are apparent, such as falling into deep financial trouble, losing quality time with the ones they love, and heightening the chances of entering into drug or alcohol addiction.
It’s difficult to establish who has a gambling problem and who doesn’t. Where is the threshold between social gamblers, and abusive gamblers? Are there any red flags? The answer is yes. Pathological gamblers often display one or more of the following signs: negligent of family get-togethers, acts on criminal behavior in order to acquire more stuff to bet on, would rather gamble then hang out with friends, talk excessively about gambling and winning money, use drugs or alcohol to distract them from wanting to gamble more, become irritated when not gambling, neglect vital responsibilities for gambling time, and lying to family and friends about going out gambling. A combination of these signs should be a red flag when identifying a compulsive gambler. But remember, none of these signs mention the amount of times a person gambles in a period of time. It’s not about “quantity.” A person can gamble every day and it may not affect his life. Also, gambling addiction isn’t OK if you’re wealthy; rich gamblers can still have issues like neglecting their loved ones and other vital responsibilities.
Florida is well-known for its casinos, entertainment arenas and cruise ship gambling. But environmental factors such as these may cause people to be more susceptible to the development of gambling addiction. Gambling addiction isn’t a problem that stands alone-it may lead to criminal behavior, psychological distress and depression, and fuel other more dangerous addictions. As stated earlier, a person may fall into drug or alcohol addiction in order to supplement or replace their gambling behavior. The combination of multiple addictions can be devastating and more difficult to treat; it would be like tangling a web of loose strings and trying to unravel them all at once.
Addiction specialists and counselors use a variety of methods in treating gambling addiction effectively, including: helping the addict understand what drives him or her to gamble, replacing their betting habits with more productive activities, understanding how it affects the people they care about, and finally, strengthening one’s will to live a more productive lifestyle. If you notice warning signs that you or your loved one is suffering from gambling addiction, it is crucial to intervene and find treatment before it is too late. Doctors treat gambling addiction as a serious brain disease, and people suffering from it are also prone to drug addiction. The importance of acquiring immediate treatment can be the difference between losing everything, and saving someone’s life.