Gambling is one of the most common addictions but can be challenging to overcome because it affects many parts of a person’s life. It is vital for people struggling with this addiction to seek help. Here, you will find information about the process of overcoming gambling disorder, including recognising when it happens and what to do next.
One of the first steps to overcoming a gambling addiction is admitting to the problem and understanding what triggers it. Compulsive gamblers can find themselves in trouble because they experience cravings for more opportunities to gamble. Gamblers often talk about the euphoria they feel when winning. Research has found that gamblers experience a surge of dopamine associated with enjoyment and pleasure, and these feelings often lead to gambling addiction.
If you or a loved one are struggling with a compulsive gambling addiction, you’re in the right place. PROMIS provide behavioural addiction solutions through evidence-based treatments and therapies.
WHAT IS GAMBLING ADDICTION?
Gambling addiction is an impulse control disorder characterized by pathological gambling, which can lead to significant social and personal problems. Pathological gambling (PG) is the most common form of addictive behaviour in the United Kingdom. The National Council on Problem Gambling reports that the majority of pathological gamblers are male, with an average age of 40 years old. PG is more common in men than women.
Gone are the days when you had to go to the bookies to put down your bets. Nowadays, gambling online has become so readily accessible that just about anyone over the age of 18 can create an account and start gambling on just about anything. This has created an enormous problem in the UK, leaving people who have developed dependencies to betting in turmoil and financial ruin.
COMMON TYPES OF GAMBLING
The following are the most common types of online gambling games:
The following are the most common types of online gambling games:
HOW DOES GAMBLING AFFECT THE BRAIN?
When you gamble, your brain releases a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is the “feel-good” hormone that gives people a sense of pleasure and excitement when they do something pleasurable. Gambling can cause a “high” by stimulating the release of dopamine in the brain’s reward centre.
The problem is that while betting offers an appealing, short-term solution to boredom, it is not a healthy solution. Gambling can take over your life and cause you to neglect other responsibilities like work and family.
GAMBLING PROBLEM EFFECTS
Gambling may create issues for the individual, although the problems extend much further than that. Evidently, the greatest issue related to this disorder is becoming financially ruined. This can lead to loss of employment, loss of a house or mortgage, and eventually loss of family. The repercussions of this disease are crippling; however, the ones who pay the highest price tend to be the families – they are generally the victims.
Seeking help before the worst-case scenario is crucial, and recognising the signs and symptoms of a compulsive gambler is essential in order to provide help to loved ones facing this battle.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF GAMBLING ADDICTION
Gambling addiction is a disorder characterised by uncontrolled gambling that can lead to severe financial, social, and emotional problems. The common signs of gambling addiction are both psychological and physical.
Psychological symptoms may include feelings of guilt, anxiety, depression, irritability, or restlessness, as well as having suicidal thoughts.
Some physical symptoms that may signal the presence of a problem are fatigue or insomnia, even after getting adequate sleep; loss of interest in activities that previously brought enjoyment, like hobbies or sports, and an excessive focus on gambling. Other symptoms can include headaches and stomach aches.
Gambling addiction can lead to persistent urges to gamble, even after losing significant amounts of money. Individuals may take greater risks and wager larger sums in an attempt to recoup their losses. Unfortunately, these actions can result in severe financial difficulties that only fuel the addiction further.
In order to overcome addiction, it is crucial to acknowledge the negative consequences of one’s actions and take action to address them. Many individuals gamble for the thrill and entertainment it provides, while others may use it as a means to alleviate stress or to feel a sense of achievement through monetary gain.
TREATING GAMBLING ADDICTION
When trying to overcome a gambling problem, it’s crucial to address not just the physical urge but also the underlying issues that may have contributed to the issue. Gambling doesn’t only lead to financial loss but also damages relationships. Therefore, it’s important to understand that these actions cannot solve the problems.
Gambling addiction is a complex problem that requires professional help. It’s essential to get educated on the signs of gambling addiction, as well as how it can be treated. Gambling addiction is treated with many different techniques that are specially designed to help individuals break through their dependency.
GAMBLING ADDICTION TREATMENTS
The most effective way to stop an addiction is by attending therapy sessions that address the inner conflicts, traumas, and other mental health issues that fuel the addiction. A therapist will help you find new coping skills, change behaviours and attitudes towards gambling, stop withdrawal symptoms by teaching relaxation techniques or other methods of stress relief, and help you transition back into everyday life. Therapies will vary but may include cognitive behavioural therapy or other forms of talk therapy.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY
CBT uses a variety of techniques to change the behaviour and thoughts that lead to problem gambling. It helps people replace negative behaviours with healthier ones, break out of cycles or patterns of gambling, manage their money better, and handle stress more effectively.
A person’s thoughts are not always rational or accurate. CBT looks at the effect that distorted thinking can have on a person’s mood and behaviour. It teaches people to identify, question, and change the thoughts that lead them towards compulsive gambling.
Cognitive behavioural therapy can be helpful in other ways, too. It can help people develop skills to manage stress or other complicated feelings, and it may also address the issues that led someone into the addiction in the first place.
FAMILY SUPPORT GROUPS
One way to help individuals with a gambling addiction is through family support groups, where friends and family can offer assistance and guidance.
Some family members may need some time to find a support group in their area. It is crucial for family members and friends not to give up on the individual with gambling addiction, although difficult, they can get better. Here at PROMIS, we have a variety of resources for those who are seeking help with gambling addiction, including online chat groups and meetings in person.
COMPULSIVE GAMBLING ADDICTION HELP
Promis Rehab provides various treatment options and resources for problem gamblers. Through our range of treatment plans, you can access private healthcare that suits your needs and any specific requirements.
With our residential treatment plan, you will have access to our state-of-the-art facilities where you can distance yourself from the stress and worries of dependency. Our locations provide comfort and round-the-clock care to ensure your recovery from gambling addiction is effective.
Our outpatient service provides a more flexible option. For those who cannot commit to a full-time stay with us due to outside commitments, we offer an alternative choice that’s more relaxed and open so you can continue your daily obligations of work and family without the hassle of a 24/7 commitment.
Our aftercare service provides contious care post initial treatment. Our mental health professionals provide support and guidance to ensure relapse prevention when returning to everyday life. Here you can learn about lifestyle changes and avoiding triggers that contribute to your overall success.
Treatment for gambling with us at Promis is life-changing. However, we are dedicated to helping all individuals and families with addiction issues and providing helpful resources for those most in need. You can get free help from self-help groups such as Gamblers Anonymous if you need to talk to someone.
GET HELP WITH PROMIS
If things have got out of hand and you need professional help for your gambling issues, it’s time to ask for help – It’s important to remember that help is just a phone call away. Contact Promis today and stop gambling for good.
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