How to Stop Gambling Addiction
Suffering from gambling addiction symptoms? Learn how to stop gambling addiction through rehabilitation.
Gambling may seem like an innocent pastime to some people because they don’t how destructive it can really be. The illusion of gaining quick, easy money is a lure that many people fall prey to and it may lead to their financial ruin. If you would like to know how to stop gambling addiction you must understand gambling addiction symptoms, causes and effects.
The odds are never in favor of the gambler and gambling is a vice that always keeps its victim coming back for more. Whether your game is poker, blackjack, horseracing, slots, bingo, Internet gambling, sports gambling, raffles or lottery tickets, you can become addicted to gaming. The gambling cycle can start easily enough. People who are struggling financially may have the urge to gamble to improve their financial situation. These people usually end up losing a large amount of money and then feel compelled to try and win back their losses. They usually don’t win back the money they lost but instead find themselves getting more in debt as they continue to gamble.
Other people gamble because they like the excitement and emotional high of taking big risks. It gets their adrenaline going and makes them feel more alive. There are many reasons why a person will begin to gamble, such as:
- The social status given to successful gamblers, and socializing with high rollers
- The exciting and entertaining atmosphere of gambling houses
- A desperate need for money
- The emotional high of taking big risks
- The camaraderie with other gamblers
- The thrill of competition
The cycle of gambling is very difficult to break. Even if the gambler does have a big win it is often never enough to cover his losses, so the gambler continues to play in the hope that he will eventually break even. That almost never happens in real life and the gambler feels compelled to keep trying. Like any other addiction, gambling addiction symptoms can include:
- You have trouble keeping the gambling addiction under control
- You feel compelled to gamble even when you cannot afford to
- You become secretive about your gambling habits
- Your gambling addiction is beginning to concern your family
- You think about gambling most of the time
- You continue to gamble even though you have not paid your bills
- You take days off from work to gamble
- You borrow money to gamble
- You feel depressed, anxious and suicidal after gambling
A gambler will find it very difficult to stop his addiction and he may become anxious about trying to quit the habit. Often a gambler will feel like he has to try just one more time to regain his losses, but it is a never ending cycle. There are a host of emotional problems that excessive gambling can create, such as: depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts or behavior. When a gambler has lost everything he had because of his addiction he may become extremely depressed and feel hopeless. Gambling addiction symptoms may be compounded and the gambler may attempt suicide. Many gamblers become extremely depressed and may exhibit lethargy, changes in appetite and sleep habits, fatigue and unhappiness. Some gamblers even turn to drugs and alcohol to relieve their disturbing emotional feelings. These are warning signs that the gambler needs help.
Learning how to stop gambling addiction begins with getting the right kind of professional help. Gambling addiction treatment programs include cognitive behavior therapy which delves into the dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns of the gambler. Once the destructive patterns are recognized they are replaced with healthy thoughts and behaviors. Other counseling and therapies will help the addict identify the motivations for the gambling which may be deep-seated psychological issues that have to be addressed.
Another essential gambling addiction treatment program is self-management for relapse prevention. Family and peer support groups are also a vital part of successful recovery for the gambling addict. Once he is committed, the gambler can overcome his addiction with the many recovery programs that are available to him.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.