Online gambling provides a fun experience for millions of people around the world. Unfortunately, for a small percentage of people, online gambling is much more than a form of entertainment. Some people are unable to control their impulses to gamble. As a result, they can strain or ruin relationships, lose their job and put themselves in deep debt.
Whether you’re afraid that a loved one is suffering from this type of affliction or you’re concerned that you may have your own problem with gambling, this post will cover the signs of this very serious problem, as well as provide actionable advice for dealing with it:
How to Spot the Signs of Gambling Addiction
Many people assume that only people who gamble on a daily basis can be addicted to this activity. The truth is that just with drugs, food or alcohol, many gambling addicts simply go on binges. Even if it’s not done on a daily basis, the difference between recreational and addictive gambling is someone with a problem may gamble even when they don’t really have the money to do so. They’re also likely to hide what they’re doing from their loved ones, and may feel extremely depressed as soon as they stop gambling for the day.
If you’re concerned about your own gambling behavior, other signs of there being a problem include gambling because you feel you absolutely need to have a rush, experiencing feelings of isolation when you’re not gambling or having convinced yourself that you just need one hot streak to solve all your financial problems.
How to Deal with Gambling Addiction
A common misconception about gambling and other forms of addiction is people simply need to work on their self-control or willpower. The reality of the situation is when someone has an addiction, they are powerless to fight it. Regardless of what they try to do, if they’re simply attempting to deal with this problem on their own, they’re going to end up sliding into an even deeper hole. Because gambling addiction isn’t just a habit that can be kicked, the first step for anyone suffering from it is to seek professional support.
Due to the increased prevalence of this problem, there are trained professionals around the world who have the experience and knowledge necessary to help start the recovery process. If you’re seeking help for your own problem, you shouldn’t feel ashamed about talking to a professional. However, since embarrassment and denial are both common feelings that accompany this disorder, if you’re trying to get a loved one the help they need, an intervention that’s guided by a professional may be necessary.
Professional treatment for gambling addiction involves two key components. The first is cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps individuals to identify their why they’re compelled to gamble and taking steps to correct it. Group support is the other essential component. Going to meetings and having people who are willing to provide support at any time plays a huge role in the ongoing treatment process.