Dealing With A Gambling Addiction

Addiction of any kind is a problem. And most addictions result in complications and disruptions in:
• Personal, domestic life
• Professional environment
• Society and
• Financial health.

All these problems and more can and will manifest themselves in a person suffering from a gambling addiction as well.

What is gambling addiction and what are its signs?
Known also as problem gambling or ludomania, gambling addiction simply means that an individual feels a need to gamble even if it is detrimental to him. Gambling can take on many forms – card games, betting, and even slots. Problem gambling is pathological and a person suffering from this will go on betting and gambling even if he or she continually loses money. Very often, gambling addicts continue gambling, despite their strong desire to stop their dangerous behavior.

There are many ways in which gambling addiction will manifest itself. Some of the most common ways or signs are:
• An individual being secretive about his gambling habit
• Not being able to walk away from gambling even if it has brought on financial ruin
• An inordinate time being spent on random gambling activities and
• Using gambling as a means of getting away from problems such as depression, guilt and so on.

It takes time
Gambling addiction and treatment of the same – both take time to develop. A person becomes addicted to gambling only over a course of time. The high that he experiences when his gambling pays off can often be followed by losses. But a gambler will feel that he can recover money by gambling further, and this often leads to a vicious cycle. More money is poured into recovering lost money until an individual is addicted to bigger and bigger gambling risks.

There are some pretty effective support systems and treatments for gambling addiction and it would be wise to invest attention and time in these programs if you or someone you know has a gambling problem.

The emotional aspects
Dealing with gambling addiction often begins in dealing with the emotional aspects. Experts recognize that there are certain emotional triggers that force an individual to head to the casinos or gambling dens. Such triggers could be loneliness, depression, stress and even anxiety. It is extremely important to identify the factors that cause these stresses and then incorporate healthier ways of dealing with them. For instance, spending time with a counselor or a friend could be more useful than going gambling.

Group support
Like most other de-addiction programs, gambling too has support groups which help people deal with problem gambling. The 12-step recovery programs of Gamblers Anonymous or behavioral therapy given by professionals have proven to be very effective in helping people. The key is to start with acknowledging that a gambling problem exists and that it is imperative to seek help.

Many program participants succeed because they address the need to change the way the mind deals with the need to gamble. Making a permanent change in behavior requires complete individual participation, effective treatment therapy and a strong support system.

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Background and comments on dealing with my addiction.

My gambling addiction isn't quite so extreme, nor is it quite so soul destroying as some I have read about on this site.The addiction came softly, slowly and sneakily.I had been adjusting to and attempting to master a serious and long term mental illness.(I have been successful in this????) .iI was also the sole carer for my mother after she had a stroke.I had given up smoking for two and a half years which had taken months to accomplish,but began again due to the pressure.I had two thirds of my right lung removed and am playing a waiting game with a nodule on the left and managed to give up smoking again.This is just a bit of background! It's now and I'm here!----- on this site!Perhaps we should all be gentle and forgive ourselves( even when we're in an ungodly mess and feel nobody else will! )Swallow hard and admit to everything,however humiliating and painful.Face the consequences however dire they may appear to you now. Immediately I came on this site I felt better and more hopeful.It's an illness.!Talk it through on these sites where no one will judge you.Talk to your GP even.Help is out there.You may be afraid to try because you believe that you can't do it or are scared to, just keep trying in your strong moments.This is just the beginning for me.I've discussed this with my husband and have given up the benefits of sharing our joint account.I have opened a small account of my own with just enough for basic needs.To manage this is hard.And am still responsible for my mothers weekly finances which I find is a big burden now .My husband is supporting me and respects me for accepting this.When you love your family it's worth the pain and the humiliation.I care and wish you all the best.

prokopton's picture

Only have access money for basic needs

"I have opened a small account of my own with just enough for basic needs."

That's a very effective way of starting. This will give you time work out the underlying issues.

Best regards.

Little league !

Thanks for the encouragement!

Having read other people's blogs and the enormity of some of the results of their addictions I feel strangely little league in comparison and inexplicably guilty ,almost ,for registering on this website.But i am an addict so it's the right place for me to be,also perhaps my story may help others.

Admitting addiction is worth the loss of self esteem,as maybe this can be regained over time with effort.

Most people have lots of other stuff to deal with besides addiction,causing intense pressure. This is what can cause people to crash and do things they wouldn't do normally and they have to fight so much harder to crawl out of the wreckage.But---- crawl through the blogs.!They all tell a story,inspiration and warmth can be found there too if you look.