SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT
Gambling addiction, also known as compulsive gambling, can affect anyone, completely consume your life and negatively affect your relationships, finances, or interfere with your job. What starts as a flutter for fun can become a habit that quickly gets out of control.
With the evolution of online gambling, access to casinos and betting has enabled modern-day gambling to be available 24/7 at the click of a button. Gambling, especially online gambling, is one of the fastest growing addictions in the world today.
When in gambling addiction, it can feel impossible to ever stop, but many specialist treatment centres, like 21Renew, have experience in working with people to help them understand their reasons behind gambling, why they are finding it so hard to stop, and support them to turn their lives around.
WHAT IS GAMBLING ADDICTION?
Gambling addiction is characterised by having a constant urge to gamble, despite the negative consequences it brings to your life. It is believed that it may reflect a diagnosis of impulse control disorder, where you have trouble regulating your emotions and behaviour, resulting in a lack of control from acting on impulses.
It can be completely out of character and irrational, especially as debt begins to mount. While you can get lucky and make money from time to time, ultimately, the lucrative industry which is designed to win, always does. It can become a vicious circle, as you place hasty and increasingly risky bets to recover money, but only end up with greater losses.
The amount gambled will often be much more than other people are prepared to lose, and more risk is taken, often feeling the urge to immediately bet anything won.
There isn’t one type of gambling in addiction, and it could involve any of the following:
Online sports betting
Online casino games
Betting in a bookmakers
Betting on slots or quiz machines
Betting at a sporting event such as the horse
Most people who gamble occasionally do so for fun, aware that they are likely to lose and if they win it is luck. They understand that gambling is a game of chance and are willing to lose whatever they stake.
Problem gamblers believe that they can predict the outcome of a game and change the game of chance, spending more than they can afford to lose. They believe that a big win will solve all their problems and have a belief that they deserve to win. It transitions from entertainment and starts to take over their life. Gambling becomes an obsession, thinking about how to fund the next bet.
There are usually family problems due to arguments, and the deceit that comes with the gambler’s denial.
SYMPTOMS OF GAMBLING ADDICTION
The risk-taking and thrill of gambling induces a natural high, with the effect being similar to that of stimulant drugs. A gambling addict becomes preoccupied with their habit in a similar way to a drug addict.
The symptoms of gambling addiction are not as clear as with alcohol and drugs, but it you or someone you know is concerned, there are some signs which will suggest you should speak to a professional.
a preoccupation with gambling and loss of interest in other hobbies
increase in time spent at casinos or online gambling, often at the expense of other commitments
placing bets when there isn’t the money available to do so, leading to financial problems
increasing bets and taking larger risks to recoup money or get the same thrill
belief that a big win is coming soon
finding ways to free up money for gambling, such as taking loans or remortgaging your house
being secretive about the money used and time spent to gamble
negative impact on relationships
anger when confronted with money issues
inability to cut back or stop, despite trying to 'take a break'
There may also be some psychological symptoms:
depression and anxiety
stress and irritability
Headaches, stomach aches and feelings of nausea
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY...
CHANGE STARTS HERE...
Making the decision to seek help is the hardest part. We know it can be daunting, but if you are reading this, then you have already made the brave first step of acknowledging you may benefit from professional help.
All you have to do to take the next step, is to pick up the phone and call us for a chat. There is no obligation to sign up for anything and we will not put any pressure on you to do so. We will just listen, share some experience and suggest some options.
Call us for a confidential chat
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+61 1800 300 813
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