Gambling, while perceived by many as a harmless, hobby-like activity can in fact turn into a compulsive habit, categorised as an impulse control disorder.
Down to a number of different personal influences, environments, mental health issues, internal stimuli and external motivators, gambling addictions can uncontrollably materialise, all influenced by the thrills, social community and rewarding experiences of gambling.
However, while gambling may be heavily glamorised, there are detrimental, worrying and life-limiting results of living with a gambling addiction, where control doesn’t exist, where consequences have little effect, and where gambling and its positive attributes are prioritised.
For many, gambling activity can be viewed as a pastime, as a way to win some money, or as a hobby, which can be controlled or be stopped if necessary. Through this outlook, gambling will likely be harmless.
Yet, for someone who’s addicted to gambling, who cannot control the impulse of investing their money or resources into a pre-arranged scenario, significant harm can be experienced.
Down to the harmless exterior, but the worrying interior of gambling addiction, it’s important that awareness around signs of gambling addiction is increased. In tandem, support sources for those who are suffering should be promoted, which we’re passionate about here at Rehab Clinics Group.
If you’re struggling, here are some steps to help tackle a gambling addiction, which we can assist you with through rehabilitation efforts.
Signs of a gambling addiction
Currently, gambling may be your coping strategy, it may provide you with a distraction, it may even carry the production of happy chemicals in your brain.
Through viewing gambling as a positive crutch, believing the detriment of its presence and its addictive characteristics will probably be difficult. However, through enablement, a gambling addiction can develop, down to a lack of impulse control, caused through psychological weaknesses.
As we’ve shared above, there are significant worries linked to excessive gambling, where addiction can present itself. With this in mind, whether you’re personally gambling or know of someone who is, understanding the signs of gambling addiction is encouraged. By boosting awareness, early signs can be recognised, helping to reduce the potential dangers linked to an addiction diagnosis.
- Common signs of gambling addiction include:
- The inability to stop gambling activity
- Ongoing investment, even when consequences are recognised
- Gambling, even if money or resources are low/non-existent
- Gambling personal possessions in order to continue with the activity
- A lack of control through gambling activity
- Further impulse problems, by relying on substance abuse
- Mental health side effects, associated with low mood and depression
- Being secretive around your gambling activity
- Prioritising the thrill of gambling over your quality of life
Unfortunately, many individuals experience the signs of gambling addiction, yet brush them under the carpet down to the positive rewards they experience, at some point, through gambling. If you’re reading our website, we encourage you to consider the dangers of gambling, along with how you can suppress and control your impulses through our steps to help tackle gambling addiction.
Dangers of gambling addiction
Alone, a gambling addiction can flip your life upside down. Money worries, impacts on relationships, heightened crime, mental health issues, and the consequence of artificial hormones on the body are all dangers linked to excessive gambling.
Yet, one key concern is the link between gambling and substance abuse, which is seen now more than ever. Through the negativities, part and parcel of excessive gambling, many individuals will turn to drugs and alcohol as an escape.
Yet, ultimately, they’ve utilised gambling as an escape from reality, soon followed by a further escape from the detriments of gambling, again through a further negative habit.
In this instance, a dual diagnosis will be present, which is very difficult to overcome, while influencing many serious results. In some cases, money worries can be reversed, relationships can unite, and legal issues can be resolved.
Yet, once physical and psychological health concerns arise, they can be challenging to reverse. With this in mind, while enabling gambling activity, it’s important to consider the long-term dangers that it will carry, if intervention and control aren’t prioritised.
Steps to help tackle a gambling addiction
If you’re already experiencing the signs of gambling addiction, it’s time to consider proactive steps to help tackle and suppress your impulse behaviour disorder. Below are some highly effective steps which can decrease the value of gambling as a coping strategy.
Search for alternative coping strategies
Gambling may currently fill a gap in your life. By searching for alternative coping strategies, oozing positivity, you can aim to fill that gap, while reducing your fixation on gambling activity.
Complete gambling addiction treatment
Gambling addiction treatments are available to you, providing structured and realistic opportunities to recover. Offered through our rehab clinics, you can opt to work through the likes of cognitive behavioural therapy, support groups, talking therapies and exposure therapy, all in place to change your outlook on gambling, along with your reliance.
Accept support on personal and professional levels
Having a strong support network may resolve your initial causation to gamble. Alongside this, support, on personal and professional levels will help you see the necessity of rehabilitation.
Understand the causation to gamble excessively
Proactive steps to help tackle a gambling addiction include the aim to understand the causation of your excessive activity. By pinpointing the causation, your risk of ongoing gambling exposure will be reduced, as you’ll have greater control over your triggers and environments.
Accept dual diagnosis treatment
If you’re struggling through correlating mental health issues or substance abuse, accepting dual diagnosis treatment will help to tackle your gambling addiction. This is in fact mandatory to ensure that you can work through a duo of brain illnesses.
Change your lifestyle
Your lifestyle may be motivating and enabling the use of gambling as a coping strategy. By changing your lifestyle to resemble health, wellbeing and positivity, space for gambling activity will slowly reduce.
Self-help through recovery
Alongside utilising our steps to help tackle gambling addiction, there are some self-help tips you can follow throughout your recovery journey, helping to reduce relapse.
Consider the realism of gambling and its consequences
Looking at gambling with a rational mindset will help you understand the realism of its actions and consequences. This is a key motivator for most to avoid future exposure to gambling activity or platforms.
Aim to control your decisions and actions
Taking control of your life can also control your actions, including the decision to gamble. Grounding yourself through mindfulness, through counselling and through a positive lifestyle can help you regain control.
Look for another distraction
Gambling may have filled a gap by providing a distraction or focus. Throughout addiction recovery, searching for an alternative distraction will be wise, which doesn’t carry negative consequences.
Be honest with yourself and others
Being honest with yourself and those who care for you will ease the addiction recovery process for you. Addiction recovery can be difficult. Yet, through realistic outlooks, through remaining honest, and through accepting support, you can tackle a gambling addiction with longevity in mind.
Gambling addiction is much more complex and controlling than most individuals will believe. Down to this, it’s important that you understand the dangers of enablement, of compulsive behaviours, and of irresponsible gambling activity. Aiming to understand, along with utilising our steps to tackle a gambling addiction will benefit you.
For gambling addiction treatment or for greater support throughout addiction recovery, contact our team at Rehab Clinics Group.