Gambling Addiction Can Destroy Your Life As You Know It

Why would I say that gambling addiction is a great destroyer of lives? Well for one, I have seen the trail of destruction that it has caused other people. I have also been impacted by this addiction myself personally.

This affliction is a relatively silent addiction because many people will not know that you or a loved one is addicted to gambling.

You cannot smell this addiction on someone. Many people with a gambling disorder look like regular people that go to work everyday and pay their bills.

Many people with a compulsive gambling problem do not seek help and they continue to suffer in silence as they are unable to stop gambling.

Even though this is a behavioral addiction, it still creates chemical reactions in the brains of those who are actively gambling. The adrenaline rush of gambling is very similar or even more powerful than that of a drug.

Slot machine addiction is considered the crack cocaine of addiction and it has created millions of dollars lost by the victims of a slot machine addiction.

So why is this addiction a great destroyer of lives. Here are 5 main reasons that I believe this to be the case.

1. This addiction can create total social isolation on the part of the gambler whether it is online gambling addiction or casino gambling addiction. The gambler loses friends as the problem progresses. This can create extreme loneliness on the part of the gambler.

2. Gambling problems cause more financial devastation than any other addiction combined. It can take years to pay off gambling debts and many people never fully recover.

3. Severe gambling at its’ worst can create depression and despair in very powerful ways. The mental health of a gambling addict becomes worse and worse as the addiction progresses.

4. Lack of sleep, lack of proper nutrition and exercise by an individual with a gambling problem can create a slow or rapid deterioration in physical health over time. People with a compulsive gambling problem can neglect themselves just as much as those with a severe drug and alcohol addiction. Lack of self care is a huge problem for a gambling addict.

5. This addiction has the HIGHEST suicide rate of all others combined. Need I say more.

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Gambling Addiction and Its Behavioral Effects

Gambling addiction is a serious mental health disorder, which can be identified in two ways: a person either a) continuously bet on things using money or objects that hold value even though negative consequences arise as a result, or, b) they cannot stop gambling even if they desired to. People suffering from gambling addiction often display a strong urge to bet on a wide-range of gambling mediums-from sports games to poker, to choosing lottery numbers and throwing dice. And although friends and family members of compulsive gamblers don’t see the symptoms physically, like they often do with alcoholics or drug abusers, the consequences gambling addiction has serious implications on their lives as well as the lives of their friends and families. Not realizing its severity or taking it too lightly can be devastating for the addicted gambler in the long run. Gamblers can reach a point of literally losing everything, from cars, to homes, to businesses, and even respect from those they care about.

It’s well-known that Florida is notorious for providing “the hotspot” for gamblers all over the world, as well as its residents. But how many gamblers actually endure financial problems? A recent survey by the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling shed light on card playing, reporting that 70% of these people had trouble paying their bills. But here’s the worst part, which is known to be a side-effect of excessive gambling–1 in 3 of these card players admitted to having participated in illicit activities in order to finance their gambling. Playing cards isn’t as harmless as we thought; criminal activity is still a cause for concern.

Gambling addicts are not always obvious about their situation; sometimes they don’t even realize it themselves. They don’t dwell on what has been lost as a result of their destructive activities and behaviors. Instead, compulsive gamblers only focus on the gains, or the supposed investment aspect of the games they play. And unlike drug or alcohol addiction, a person addicted to gambling will not display symptoms such as heavy fatigue, sickness, loss of energy or dizziness; instead, other factors are apparent, such as falling into deep financial trouble, losing quality time with the ones they love, and heightening the chances of entering into drug or alcohol addiction.

It’s difficult to establish who has a gambling problem and who doesn’t. Where is the threshold between social gamblers, and abusive gamblers? Are there any red flags? The answer is yes. Pathological gamblers often display one or more of the following signs: negligent of family get-togethers, acts on criminal behavior in order to acquire more stuff to bet on, would rather gamble then hang out with friends, talk excessively about gambling and winning money, use drugs or alcohol to distract them from wanting to gamble more, become irritated when not gambling, neglect vital responsibilities for gambling time, and lying to family and friends about going out gambling. A combination of these signs should be a red flag when identifying a compulsive gambler. But remember, none of these signs mention the amount of times a person gambles in a period of time. It’s not about “quantity.” A person can gamble every day and it may not affect his life. Also, gambling addiction isn’t OK if you’re wealthy; rich gamblers can still have issues like neglecting their loved ones and other vital responsibilities.

Florida is well-known for its casinos, entertainment arenas and cruise ship gambling. But environmental factors such as these may cause people to be more susceptible to the development of gambling addiction. Gambling addiction isn’t a problem that stands alone-it may lead to criminal behavior, psychological distress and depression, and fuel other more dangerous addictions. As stated earlier, a person may fall into drug or alcohol addiction in order to supplement or replace their gambling behavior. The combination of multiple addictions can be devastating and more difficult to treat; it would be like tangling a web of loose strings and trying to unravel them all at once.

Addiction specialists and counselors use a variety of methods in treating gambling addiction effectively, including: helping the addict understand what drives him or her to gamble, replacing their betting habits with more productive activities, understanding how it affects the people they care about, and finally, strengthening one’s will to live a more productive lifestyle. If you notice warning signs that you or your loved one is suffering from gambling addiction, it is crucial to intervene and find treatment before it is too late. Doctors treat gambling addiction as a serious brain disease, and people suffering from it are also prone to drug addiction. The importance of acquiring immediate treatment can be the difference between losing everything, and saving someone’s life.

Self Help Tips For Treating Gambling Addiction

Addiction in any form is dreadful and addiction of gambling is an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Gambling occasionally can be enjoyable, but prolonged interest in it, can turn into an obsession, compelling the gambler to gamble continuously, irrespective of whether he wins. Gambling addiction takes a toll on the addict’s finances and affects him socially, psychologically and physically. It devastates the gambler’s life and has serious consequences on family and friends.

How does gambling addiction start

People generally resort to gambling for various reasons, like curiosity, trying once and winning and getting hooked, but mostly gambling addiction is the escape route from personal relationship problems or any past or current failure in life. The simplest way someone gets addicted is to try once or twice, and with beginner’s luck, he wins, but after that he starts losing. In an effort to gain back the entire money, the gambler goes on playing, till he is left with nothing. Addicts do not hesitate to beg, borrow or steal money to continue their routine of gambling.

This situation must be tackled before it moves beyond control, but the most difficult task is to locate and identify an addict. An addict gambler is very smart to hide his characteristic traits. However, one symptom can give them away – they always try to sneak around, lie about their whereabouts and ask people to lend money.

Self-help for treating gambling addiction – What are the options?

The first step in curing gambling addiction is to confess in the presence of someone else. The presence of someone close would help the addict remain motivated to his efforts. This is the most difficult step as one who can admit that he is an addict, is half way through the curing process because most addicts shy away due to the fear of social rejection.

After the admission, the addict must avoid visiting the places where he gambles, like casinos and clubs. If he is addicted to online gambling then he must remove all sites from the computer. The next step is to engage in some fruitful activity that distracts the addict from gambling, like taking a walk, or visiting a gym.

Following natural therapies are better and safer than trying some kind of medicine, because all medicines have side effects and runs the risk of creating drug dependency. Gambling addicts can also join gambling anonymous support forums, where they can see others like them, trying to get rid of this dangerous habit.

Another step towards a better life can be self-hypnosis. An addict can either get a hypnotist / hypnotherapist, or buy a CD of self-hypnosis, or use a mix of the two methods. A hypnotist will not only hypnotize, but listen to his problems and identify the reasons for gambling and state a solution. However, if this option is not possible to avail for someone, self – hypnosis CDs is a good option too. Remember, getting rid of gambling addiction is an ongoing battle that an addict has to continue fighting unless chances of relapses end completely.

Gambling Addiction is a Waste of Money

In medical terms gambling addiction is termed as ludomania. This implies a person needs to gamble despite knowing the harmful consequences. Gambling addiction is a behavior which can affect most of the major aspects of life, for example it can affect you psychologically, physically and hamper your social life. Sometimes gambling addiction is referred as a hidden illness as you cannot see any physical symptoms. According to the American Psychological Association, addictive gambling is a mental health disorder and those affected have no control over it. Gambling addiction is a disease which is chronic and progressive. This means a person gets more and more addicted towards it every time he or she gets the opportunity to gamble. According to a survey about 4 percent of the American population has a gambling addiction.

According to Dr. Richard Rosenthal there are three criteria for a person to be listed down as a pathological gambler or a person affect with gambling addiction. An intolerable feeling or state, which is a person feeling helpless for no reason. Depression can be a reason; a person might get depressed due to problems at work place, problems with family, etc. Another criterion is when a person develops a high capacity for self-deception. When a gambler falls under these criteria, he is affected with gambling addiction. Gambling addiction is however classified into two types, action gambling and escape gambling.

Action gambling means a person is addicted to take risks, people falling under this category want to play with other gamblers, and they want to prove themselves as a winner in front of everyone. They want to identify themselves and create an image, they will continue gambling until and unless they reach the position. Escape gambling is where a person gambles because of the reason that they are affected with some personal matters. The person is having problems with emotional aspects in life or the person is not comfortable with life. People having escape gambling addiction usually play alone or they like to sit alone, they are rather found playing black jack or at slot machines. Escape gamblers just avoid human contact. It is found that men are more addicted towards action gambling and women are addicted towards escape gambling. It is also found that young people tend to have gambling addiction rather than adults. Teens are generally 3 times more likely to fall under gambling addiction. This is completely reversed in reference to other addictions where problems among adults are more prevalent than children.

Gambling addiction is a mental disorder having no impulse in controlling it but it is diagnosable and treatable. A very effective way to get treated is by the help of hypnosis. Hypnosis has a very high rate of success in healing people from gambling addiction. You can download mp3 versions available on the Internet. As soon as you are over with all the sessions of hypnosis you will no more be losing money at the casinos. You will be a winner and will set an example in front of everyone on how fast and easily you could get rid of gambling addiction.

5 Elements of a Gambling Addiction

A huge majority of the population will gamble at least once in their life, a perfectly normal occurrence. Gambling can be a fun way to spend an evening; lose a few bucks here, win a few bucks there. You may even be lucky enough win a large amount of money. Even though there are several people out there who gamble carelessly for the fun of it, there is a small percentage of people that will start to form an unhealthy habit of gambling that could in fact lead to a terrible gambling addiction.

If you suspect that somebody you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, a sure sign of this would be if that person is exhibiting one or more of these signs:

The first and foremost way to spot a gambling addiction is if a person is constantly fixated on any form of gambling; be it poker, horse races, football or any other activity that presents an opportunity to gamble. If you suspect a person is suffering from a gambling addiction then he or she will always be thinking about it constantly. That person will always want to gamble and even plan out the next trip long before it happens. A lot of addiction specialists will refer to this fixation as “preoccupation.”

If a person is always in pursuit of winning back lost money, then he or she may be suffering from a gambling addiction. This habit can cause some major financial problems because in the attempt to win back previously lost money, a person may end up actually losing double, triple or even quadruple what he or she lost in the first place. Whatever you do, if you know someone who is always attempting to win back lost money, he or she may be doing horrible financially and may end up trying to borrow money from you; Do not give it to them!

A person who may be suffering from a gambling addiction will usually attempt to stop gambling on several different occasions. If you know a person that has tried to stop gambling on more than one occasion but ended up going right back to it, then that person most likely has a gambling addiction. Gambling addicts will usually exhibit the same behavior as controlled substance and narcotic addicts when they try to stop; behaviors such as irritability, anger and even insomnia.

If a person you know has just been through something traumatic and has been gambling a lot ever since, then that person is most likely using gambling as a substitute to cope with said traumatic experience. A lot of gamblers will experience a euphoria similar to a “high” that lets that person escape from something in their lives and feel good. A bad side effect of feeling “high” when gambling is that to sustain the high, larger and larger amounts of money must be bet.

Finally, probably one of the easiest signs to spot not only a gambling addiction, but any addiction, is lying. Gambling addicts will often lie when asked how much money they have spent, lost or won so that their true losses do not show and they can gamble feeling a little less guilty. However, some gamblers do actually feel guilty with every lie told which can actually cause that person to gamble more to cope with the emotional guilt.

An addiction, no matter what it is from, will always prove to be an unhealthy aspect of a person’s life. This is why it is important to step in and intervene before an addiction gets to strong a grasp on family, friend or loved one. If you suspect someone you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, start by looking for the five signs listed above.