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Addicted To Gambling – Fighting Against The Odds

gambling addiction

Gambling is seen by many as a harmless pastime, a bit of fun, something to excite, something to thrill. There are also unaccountable numbers of men and women who cannot live without it.

Severe symptoms

Having a compulsion to gamble is often referred to as a gambling disorder. There are many signs and symptoms. Some are far more obvious than others.

  • Preoccupation: Thoughts and actions of the next ‘punt’ as well as where much needed cash reserves will come from occupy a gamblers mind.
  • Same stake is insufficient: Over time the same stake does not give the same thrill as previously received. Higher stakes are required to re-ignite the full buzz.
  • Chasing losses: Instead of cutting losses when on a losing streak a gambler will increase gambling either by frequency or higher stakes.
  • Unable to throttle back: It is often the case that someone addicted to gambling will try and either cut back on their betting drastically or stop gambling completely. Neither works. This is often because of:
  • Restlessness and irritability: Trying to stop a habit that is deeply affecting finances and personal relationships may seem the sensible way to go, but a person suffering from a gambling disorder has overriding feelings of restlessness and irritability that can only be soothed by returning to their old ways.
  • An escape: Ready-made self-excuses are made in the false belief that while gambling they are escaping problems and the ever-stronger feelings of guilt, anxiety and depression that are mounting over their habit.
  • Denial and lies: If confronted by family members or those closest to them a person addicted to gambling will deny the problem is as severe as it is. They will also lie about the amount of time spent gambling, how much money they are spending and where they are spending extended periods of time.
  • Theft or fraud: While this is seen by many gamblers as a last resort, once the process begins they will commit theft or fraud again and again. Their reasoning behind the first attempt is often that they are not stealing, they are merely ‘borrowing’ and as soon as that big win drops the amount taken will be returned. If only life were so simple!

Causes of compulsive gambling:

The reasons behind a person penchant and need to gamble compulsively are not yet fully understood, but it is felt that a combination of biological, genealogical and environmental factors can all contribute to this unquenchable desire to gamble.

What is clear is that if a person finds themselves spending increasing amounts of time either gambling or thinking about gambling then professional help is required.

No shame in seeking help:

A person who is suffering from unstoppable urges to gamble, even though they realise the problems it is causing must seek professional rehabilitation assistance sooner rather than later.

By doing so they can talk to experienced counsellors who will help them work through and understand what is causing this behaviour.

A person can then progress towards ceasing a devastating habit. One which if allowed to continue has a very strong chance of ruining their lives and those closest to them.

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