Gambling Addiction Treatment And Therapy

Gambling Addiction

Money is a powerful resource in our society.  The possession of money allows one to attain status, material possessions, and a sense of security.  However, how one obtains money can be problematic.  Gambling is very addictive.  It is based on an “occasional reinforcement”- meaning that you never know when you are going to win so you just continue playing until you get rewarded.  The field of psychology has known that this is the most reinforcing pattern of reward that exists, creating a strong desire to keep searching/playing for the reward.  Eventually, problem gamblers find themselves in financial distress or ruin.  An individual’s gambling habits can lead to disruption in one’s home life, lead to legal problems, employment problems, and psychological distress. Unfortunately, there is a higher rate of attempted and successful suicide among gambling addicts.  Once the consequences of their gambling behavior become a reality, they often feel there is no way out of the situation.

Behaviors of problematic gambling may include but are not limited to:

  • Lose track of time gambling
  • Miss school or work due to gambling
  • Having the reputation as a gambler
  • Feel depressed, sad or anxious after gambling
  • Suicidal thought about how much money you have lost
  • Gambling to win money so you can your debts
  • A decrease in drive or desire for other activities
  • Feel that winning is a “high” so you “go back for more”
  • Gamble until your last dollar is gone
  • Borrowing money to gamble with
  • Selling possession to use the money to gamble
  • Have a special stash of gambling money
  • Use gambling to escape fear, worry or concern
  • Committed illegal act gambling
  • Decrease in sleep
  • Feel irritable and angry when having the urge to gamble but can’t in  the moment
  • Rewarding yourself with gambling

Visit Gamblers Anonymous at: www.gamblersanonymous.org

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