Gambling Addiction, otherwise known as Compulsive Gambling, is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the risks and consequences it has on your life. When battling problem gambling, you are willing to risk your financial security and relationship in hopes of winning a huge jackpot. Gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward system, just like drugs and social media, leading to addiction. Compulsive gambling is a serious problem that can destroy lives and livelihoods. One of the major risks associated with gambling is that it can go unnoticed and untreated for so long. By the time the families or loved ones of the compulsive gamblers discover the problem, it could have progressed to a point where medical treatment is required. Check out the following symptoms to detect whether you or your loved one is a compulsive gambler:
Compulsive gamblers constantly think about gambling activities and how they can get more money by gambling. They plan their next gambling session – often spending more money and time for the adrenaline rush. Compulsive gamblers are likely to escape their life problems and emotions by gambling, try to chase losses, and risk losing important relationships or work opportunities for gambling. When compulsive gamblers recognize they have a problem, they might try to stop gambling – often without success. They might feel restless, irritable, anxious, and on edge, while trying to cut back on gambling. Compulsive gamblers are also more likely to constantly lie about their whereabouts or activities to their families to hide their tracks. They might ask relatives or friends to bail them out of a difficult financial situation or use the money saved for emergency bills and essential amenities. In extreme conditions, compulsive gamblers may resort to theft or fraud to get a grip on their financial situation. The difference between casual and problem gamblers is in whether they can successfully control their gambling activities. If you or your loved one has any of these symptoms, get your gambling issues sorted professionally.
As with any other addiction, compulsive gambling can also be conquered with the right treatment. Compulsive gamblers often have an unhealthy relationship with their money and finances; therefore, addressing it and finding balance is essential. It is important to note that if you have decided to get over your gambling addiction, even occasional gambling can lead to a relapse. Compulsive gamblers can choose an inpatient or outpatient deaddiction program in a rehab. An inpatient program is especially beneficial if you are unable to avoid gambling venues or casino sites without any help. Outpatient treatment helps a patient to focus on other aspects of their lives while receiving the treatment. However, if you cannot exercise some degree of control over your life, outpatient programs can prove to be detrimental. To have a balanced relationship with money and get rid of the feelings of guilt and shame associated with gambling issues, one might also require one on one therapy sessions. Gamblers should deal with underlying issues, identify triggers and overcome them to change these destructive patterns.