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A Guide to the Issue of Gambling Addiction and Ways to Recover

Gambling addiction is a compulsive behavior and can happen to anyone who has issues with self-control. Problem gambling is harmful to physical and psychological health, and people can face serious consequences. Irrespective of whether you wager on sports, casino games, poker, roulette, etc., it may affect your life. It can interfere with your productivity, strain your relationships, and many other important factors. Also, if you are not carefully spending your money, you may even run up huge debts.

About Compulsive Gambling

Gambling addiction is also known as gambling disorder, pathological gambling, and compulsive gambling. It is an impulse-control disorder and a situation where you do not have control over yourself. It can happen every time you are involved in betting or online casino games, nevertheless, you win or lose. In short, it disturbs your natural flow of life as you are spending most of the time playing games or betting.

Symptoms And Signs

If you are addicted to gambling, there are some common emotional, behavioral, health, and financial signs you will face:

Emotional Signs

  • Signs of depression or anxiety
  • Continuous mood swings
  • Difficulty paying attention to yourself

Behavioral Signs

  • Continuously ignoring family functions
  • You stopped doing the things that you used to like before
  • Thinking about wagering all the time
  • Stealing money to play online games
  • Taking alcohol or any drugs to reduce the stress level

Financial Signs

  • You have a huge debt as you have taken the money and invested in gambling.
  • Working for a longer time to earn more money to meet your basic needs.
  • Frequently borrowing money from friends and family members.

Health-related Signs

  • Bowel and stomach issues
  • Headaches
  • Lack of enough sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Overeating

Risk Factors

Several risk factors contributing to gambling addiction and making it more difficult for you to stop are:

  • Having a false expectation of future
  • Holding mistaken beliefs
  • Losing your job or you are about to apply for divorce
  • Become more impulsive day by day
  • Often feel lonely or bored
  • You might start developing mental health issues
  • Taking higher and higher risks
  • Spoiling your relationships with your friends
  • Neglecting payment of bills, leading to fines

Diagnosis

Counseling players suffering from gambling addiction can help in understanding why they are investing so much time in casino games. Specialists can help players by guiding them in the right direction and define the issues which provoke the development of addiction. Many specialized clinics offer counseling services that you can visit.

  • Counseling For Players
  • Avid gamers who suffer from gambling addiction often wonder whether they have to go for counseling sessions to quit gambling. However, counseling or any remedial support would only work when you accept the problem and decide to go for the right treatments. Counseling will help you identify the ‘pain-points’ and identify the root which caused the problem. You are expected to undergo a learning process through which you can collect new information and make better decisions to come out of addiction.

  • Counseling For Family Members
  • If someone in your family is suffering from gambling addiction, it might be difficult to help them. The family of the addicted player has to understand his/her thought process, psychological issues, and reasons for his/her inclination towards gambling. Effective and targeted counseling sessions for the family can help them bring about certain behavioral patterns in the affected person thus inducing positive changes in their lives.

Self-Help For Gambling Problems

Self-help is the greatest way to come out of gambling addiction. However, acceptance is a major aspect in this regard. An ideal way to overcome gambling addiction is by realizing and accepting that you have a problem. Many players have been in such a situation, and they have overcome it gracefully. According to gambling addiction statistics, the right self-help tool can help in this situation. The ways to do so are:

  • Strengthening The Support Network:
  • It is not easy to overcome any addiction, so you should first ask for support from your loved ones. You can reach out to your colleagues, invest more time working, register in an educational course, etc.

  • Learning To Relieve Unpleasant Feeling In A Healthy Way:
  • First, you should find if you are gambling when stressed out or sad. If so, learn to relieve unpleasantness in a healthy way. It can be done by spending time with your family, exercising, etc.

  • A Self-Helping Tool:
  • Look for a self-help gambling tool where you can register for free. With the help of such tools, you can monitor your gambling habits and trends, thus keeping a check on the way you gamble. Moreover, these tools also help the family members of the addicted person, as they can monitor the player’s gambling habits.

Gambling Addiction Treatment

Overcoming a critical ailment such as gambling addiction isn’t easy, and seeking professional gambling addiction help is perhaps the need of the hour. Since every person is different and has various behavioral qualities, thought processes, and psychological mapping, it’s of utmost importance to look for a mental health expert who can provide the right gambling addiction treatment. Take a look at the short description of the treatments:

  • Rehab Program:
  • The term ‘rehab’ comes from the word ‘rehabilitation’ and these programs are designed to help people overcome gambling addiction. Through these programs, the addicted player gets introduced to different ways that control their thought processes and the urge to gamble excessively. They can also direct players to overcome wagering all the time.

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy:
  • It is prepared to eliminate unhealthy thoughts and behavior in players, like false beliefs and rationalizations. It also teaches you to solve financial issues and pay more attention to your work.
    Treatment For Underlying Conditions: It includes treatment for mental health problems or substance abuse, like ADHD, a sign of bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD, or depression. The treatment incorporates medication and therapies.

How Casinos Encourage Responsible Gaming?

Responsible gaming is a huge concept, consisting of several requirements and policies. Definitely, it is a fun activity, but gambling addiction is not at all good. Almost all the reputed and popular casinos encourage responsible gaming that includes:

  • Age Limits:
  • Casinos have set up a minimum age requirement, fulfilling which players can gamble. It is because young people can get easily addicted to betting in a short time.

  • Higher Deposit Limits:
  • Some gaming websites opt for higher deposit limits to restrict players from getting addicted.

  • Account Restrictions:
  • Account restrictions are made by the site to prevent players from placing too many bets at a time. It is done keeping responsible gaming into consideration, as a particular player can only play a certain number of games or place a certain amount of wagers and not more than that.

Support and Resources

There are several support services and resources offering self-help videos, community forums, and other assistance tools, where you or your closed ones can seek effective support, if someone is suffering from gambling addiction. Here are some of them:

Wrapping Up

Online gambling has gained grounds for its exciting features, gaming interface, and quick money-making opportunities. While there is nothing wrong to engage yourself in enticing gaming sessions, over-gambling or gambling addiction can wreak havoc on a person’s mental health, behavioral qualities, physical health, as well as social life. Quite naturally, responsible gambling is something that all players should look forward to and this article will surely be an eye-opener for them.

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