Frequently Asked Questions About Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Casinos are not a common pastime for the ordinary person. However, the gambling industry has made it easier, to begin with, the combination of various types and venues of gambling. The harmless microtransactions we do in games, regardless of platform, can also be the beginning of uncontrolled spending, justified by the thought that it only costs so little.

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Being careless about this can lead to compulsive gambling. It is a condition where one cannot control their urge to gamble despite its negative consequences to a person’s life. Even despite the pandemic, when physical gambling establishments are closed, gambling persists among people.

Now, all it takes is to have a smartphone or a computer, an internet connection, and knowledge of a reliable gambling website.

Gambling is a risk and reward process. But usually, what a person sees is only the potential reward. Due to competitiveness, one gets inclined to try again and again, thinking that the next try will give them the compensation they expect. This is very rarely the case, as the odds of winning games are slim, and thus compulsive gambling begins.

People who gamble compulsively may refuse to acknowledge their problem, thinking that this time will be the last anyway or that they will even break even and make profits the next time they gamble.

The same people tend to hide their spending from their family and friends and may resort to lies and theft when no longer able to fund their activities.

Age is a significant risk factor of compulsive gambling, as it often occurs among the youth. This part of the population grew up with microtransactions as their norm, unable to see the accrued cost of often buying small game content packets.

Another significant risk factor is pre-existing mental conditions such as anxiety, depression, and personality disorders. People with these kinds of situations are more likely to begin and get hooked to gambling.

When you notice this problem with yourself or with a loved one, the important thing is to acknowledge the problem and know that you need help. There are various ways to help get away from gambling, such as taking medication or joining self-help groups to get to know others with the same problem.

There is also the option of signing up for therapy, and this article introduces dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). The following are some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about DBT, which can help you decide whether you need it or not for your condition.

What does dialectical behavioral therapy mean?

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a type of talk therapy under cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Initially, the focus of DBT was on treating borderline personality disorder (BPD) and suicidal behaviors. But with its proven benefits, the therapy has been adapted for addressing other mental health conditions.

Essentially, the term “dialectical” means bringing together both acceptance and change in therapy. It focuses on four vital therapeutic skills: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

What are the six main points of dialectical behavior therapy?

DBT consists of six main points where change occurs. The first stage is pre-contemplation, the second is contemplation, followed by preparation, action, maintenance, and mindfulness. The pre-contemplation point is where the patient is still unaware of the problem; meanwhile, contemplation is where realization happens.

The following points after that are where change gradually happens through therapy. The final point—mindfulness—is achieved after undergoing the process of acceptance and change in DBT.

What is the difference between cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy?

To make it simple, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). While CBT revolves around recognizing and addressing problematic thoughts, DBT’s focus is on regulating harmful behaviors.

The process of DBT delves in deeper on acceptance and management of emotions with the result of mindfulness. In a way, DBT roots from CBT’s foundation but addresses more specific concerns on destructive behaviors.

What are the main components of dialectical behavior therapy?

There are four main components of DBT, namely: skills training group, individual treatment, phone coaching, and therapist consultation team. 

    • Skills training group: A group leader teaches essential behavioral skills, typically within 24 weeks, among clients. 
    • Individual therapy involves boosting motivation and applying the learned behavioral skills from the skills training group in real-life events and challenges.
    • Phone coaching: This component aims to provide clients with coaching outside in-office therapy sessions when experiencing a difficult situation.
    • Therapist consultation team: This team is formed to support DBT therapists and keep them motivated while working with clients.

What does it mean to think dialectically?

The term dialectical refers to the balance or middle ground between opposing points of view. Instead of categorizing things as “black” or “white,” dialectical thinking points out that opposing points can coexist. Hence, there is no such thing as absolute when you think dialectically.

In DBT, thinking dialectically allows you to ease the thought that a bad situation will remain forever. It is the practice of accepting an adverse situation and moving forward, and working towards changing that.

Can a person with BPD really love?

A person with BPD can love and experience feelings related to love, such as affection, admiration, attraction, and desire. They also undergo different stages of love as with people not diagnosed with the condition. People with BPD typically have a high level of devotion in a romantic relationship.

However, it’s important to note that people with BPD have extremely sensitive natures. Hence, it’s likely that they will project intense behaviors and reactions in their relationships that are out of their control.

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Is DBT effective for depression?

DBT provides a comprehensive therapy approach that can help with depression. Since it involves a cognitive, behavioral, and acceptance-based approach, it can effectively address the condition’s common symptoms.

DBT helps depression patients accept their situation, manage overwhelming emotions, and develop coping skills to make changes in their emotional situation. 

Is DBT good for trauma?

Traumatic experiences can manifest as unwanted and intense emotions later in life. The approach of DBT helps address trauma as it helps develop self-control and keeps you grounded in the present. It allows people with trauma to regulate their mood and develop acceptance and healthy coping skills for their trauma.

How long does DBT treatment last?

While there is no fixed duration for the DBT procedure, the full course would typically take around six months to finish. A client would spend around six weeks to complete each DBT module, namely: emotional regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness, and interpersonal effectiveness.

During these weekly sessions, the client and therapist undergo the main concepts of standard DBT. It includes the skills training group, individual treatment, phone coaching, and therapist consultation team. 

Is CBT or DBT better for anxiety?

Many people have found success in anxiety treatment with CBT. Hence, it is a more common treatment for the condition than DBT. However, DBT is more helpful for addressing extreme anxiety symptoms, such as thoughts of self-harm and suicide.

Since each person responds differently with different treatment methods, it’s best to consult your mental healthcare provider regarding the matter. Psychological consultation will help you determine the best treatment option for your condition.

Does DBT work for anxiety?

Emotions linked with anxiety, such as fear, can be challenging to manage and cope up with. DBT will help you understand and acknowledge where these distressing emotions are coming from. It also provides a structure to follow in altering and regulating emotions and reactions related to anxiety.

Upon acquiring the cognitive and emotional skills in this structure, you can start applying them in your life effectively.

What are the nine symptoms of borderline personality disorder?

BPD manifests in different ways. However, as a diagnostic procedure, experts have come up with nine major categories of BPD symptoms. To get diagnosed with the condition, the patient must show at least five out of these nine symptoms. They must also have experienced these for a long-term, which usually starts during adolescence.

The nine symptoms of BPD are:

  1. Fear of abandonment
  2. Unstable relationships
  3. Unclear self-image
  4. Impulsiveness and self-destructive behaviors
  5. Self-harm
  6. Intense mood swings
  7. Feeling of emptiness
  8. Short temper and intense anger
  9. Losing touch with reality

What are target behaviors in DBT?

There are three categories of target behaviors in DBT. The first is life-threatening behavior, which is any action that involves self-harm. Next are therapy-interfering behaviors, which involve patient actions and behaviors that disrupt or delay the session.

Finally, the quality-of-life-interfering behavior covers almost everything that is not imminently life-threatening, from substance abuse, relationship problems, disregarding medications, etc.

What disorders does DBT treat?

Although initially intended as a treatment for BPD, DBT has effectively addressed various mental health conditions. It is now common to use DBT to treat anxiety, depression, eating disorders, PTSD, and substance abuse.

It helps people regulate emotions, develop healthy relationships, and become mindful of their thoughts and behavior.

Does DBT therapy really work?

Studies have found that it works for individuals with diverse backgrounds and demographics. However, the best results are seen with clients who are entirely willing to reach acceptance and undergo recovery.

Furthermore, as with other therapies and treatments, DBT may either be effective or ineffective depending on varying circumstances.

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DBT is a proven approach that works for a wide range of backgrounds and demographics. It is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on four vital therapeutic skills: distress tolerance, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness. 

DBT targets three categories of behaviors: life-threatening, therapy-interfering, and quality-of-life-interfering. Patients learn how to think dialectically, wherein two opposing points may coexist. This helps that patient to accept the adverse situation and move towards changing that. 

There are six stages of DBT, and these are as follows: pre-contemplation, contemplations, preparation, action, maintenance, and mindfulness.

These stages are a combination of individual and group training to boost motivation and enable emotional support. The full course of a  DBT procedure may take around six months to finish. 

As DBT can address its symptoms, it can definitely address compulsive gambling too. People unable to control their spending and later unable to admit this problem are at risk for this condition. It can eventually make a person’s life take a drastic turn.

This problem affects both the compulsive gambler and their family and friends, so it is better to get it treated as early as possible. DBT can tremendously help the compulsive gambler manage their condition and live healthily without resorting to self-destructive behavior. 

How The State Of Your Mental Health Can Lead To Gambling

How The State Of Your Mental Health Can Lead To Gambling

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Many of us are only aware of how gambling may affect our mental health. Few of us understand how underlying disorders may lead to an addiction. Yes, your mental well-being can also influence your likelihood of frequenting casinos and related websites.

Being aware of this relationship can help us determine the signs of problem gambling earlier. Doing so will allow us to keep watch over our loved ones as well as ourselves.

Now, let’s discuss how our mental state can lead to problems with gambling.

Impulsivity Can Lead To Gambling

When someone is impulsive, they tend to act without thinking things through. It’s essentially “do now, think about the consequences later.” Instinct drives their behavior, and they often do so to gain pleasure or positive results. For instance, purchasing a cake when you only need to get essentials is an impulsive act.

However, impulsivity also frequently involves risky actions. Examples of such are running across the street without checking both sides, driving when drunk, and destroying property. Meanwhile, an example of an impulsive control disorder is Kleptomania, which is the uncontrollable urge to steal something.

Impulsivity characterizes numerous conditions, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Bipolar Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Those with such may be more likely to gamble and later develop an addiction to it.

Due to their ADHD, those with this condition may turn to card games and slot machines to deal with boredom. It’s because such acts satisfy their need for stimulation. A French study found out that, of the three symptoms of ADHD, impulsivity had the most substantial ties to excessive gambling.

As for bipolar disorder, manic phases are characteristically impulsive. During mania, individuals have disinhibited social behavior, higher self-confidence or grandiosity, and impaired judgment. They tend to have elated or extreme moods. All these factors can lead them to impulsively gambling. 

Gambling As A Coping Mechanism

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Similarly, people may also tend to gamble to cope with the difficulties they face. Those with mood disorders may find it challenging to deal with their emotions. In turn, they may use cards and betting to get by.

Depression, for example, isn’t only a product of gambling addiction. Gambling can be a new source of happiness for someone who has lost interest in their other hobbies and daily activities. But it can also be the cause of such a problem.

Winning at Blackjack or betting on the right horse can alleviate feelings of helplessness and extremely low self-esteem. It can provide instant gratification for someone who continually feels low. 

Individuals may also gamble so that they can relieve stress. Instead of de-stressing through healthy methods such as exercising, journaling, or simply watching television, they choose to escape their problems by turning to the tables or the horses.

Moreover, having other harmful coping mechanisms can also lead to gambling addiction. For instance, researchers also link substance abuse to this problem. One reason is that drinking and gambling often happen at the same time. People like to enjoy alcohol as they play Poker and other games at the table.

Physical Factors In The Brain

With mental health disorders, there may still be an essential physical aspect. For example, while external factors may cause depression, it also has a biochemical component. While these chemicals are not the sole cause of mood disorders, they still play a significant role.

Nerve cell connections and growth, and nerve circuits can impact a person’s mental health. They are also involved when it comes to addictions, such as problem gambling. When someone wins at a game or places a bet, the brain’s rewards system releases dopamine

A person who has depression is likely to turn to dopamine-inducing activities such as gambling, since they may experience low levels of this chemical. Such activities can thus have a cyclical pattern.

Summary

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When we think about the relationship between gambling and mental health problems, we believe the former leads to the latter. However, it can also be the other way around. The challenges we face with our mental well-being can make us more likely to try to gamble. It can also set us on the path to addiction or problem gambling.

Impulsivity is a characteristic of conditions such as bipolar disorder and ADHD. Being impulsive could mean going to the casino and placing large bets without first thinking it through.

Gambling can also be a coping mechanism for those struggling with their mental health. Winning provides immediate happiness or gratification. It also gives individuals a sense of purpose or connection to others.

Mental health and gambling is indeed a cyclical pattern. We must reach out to our loved ones and seek professional help to break the cycle. Taking care of our mental well-being is also a way of avoiding gambling addiction’s slippery slope.

How Gambling Affects The Family

Gambling as an addiction isn’t as prominent as other forms of addiction that involve the consumption of substances. There are fewer people who take gambling seriously as alcoholism or drug addiction.

However, betting games can do just as much psychological damage as any other obsessive behavior. It also affects family members of the gambler. Being aware of these effects can help families avoid further harm and start the process of healing.

Addictive Escape

What makes gambling compelling is the rush and thrill of placing bets. The prospect of winning big time, combined with the flashy ambiance and fellow players’ company, can be an exciting pastime for many people. Many games, such as slot machines, are carefully designed to create a positive experience for the player.

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Someone who might be going through problems in life may find solace in a casino. They get to experience a temporary bliss, enabling them to forget about their problems for a few hours. Typically, friends and family serve as support systems. Still, gamblers replace them with gambling, an activity where they can ignore their troubles for a while. 

Naturally, many people who first try out gambling start to crave the experience. They look forward to the next session, sometimes to the point of compulsion. If the addiction becomes more potent, they might start to forgo activities like family bonding to spend more time in the casino.

According to Karen Finlay, Ph.D., “gamblers in a casino will stay much longer, feel better, and bet more. Perhaps they might incur bigger losses, but they’ll most probably return.”

Scarcity and Debt

The problem with gambling is that designers ensure that the games earn casino revenue in the long run. While jackpots and other wins may seem to give players more money than they spend, the house makes money in the long term.

Long-time players nearly always lose money. However, the addiction compels the player to continue playing even at enormous costs.

Gamblers might start to take away money from the family. Cash meant to pay for bills may suddenly end up as bets. Players may start taking on loans, sometimes from predatory sharks, to finance their plays. They might even sell some of their belongings to get more money.

Unfortunately, some families continue to enable the behavior by making it easier for the person to keep on playing. Some spouses might willingly give their partners cash or bail them out of their financial problems. While these actions may seem supportive, they only facilitate the person to become more addicted to gambling.

Interpersonal Problems

Many people struggle with gambling. They want to break free from the addiction but might find it exceedingly difficult. Their self-esteem may drop when they are unable to resist as they feel powerless against their habits.

This lack of confidence, coupled with the frustration of being unable to break free, can strain their relationships with family members.

Family bonding is a powerful tool for lending support and strengthening bonds. It plays a role in making loved ones more robust, as each member reaches out to people going through problems.

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However, gambling and other addictions compromise family bonds. Many people with addictions withdraw from other people out of shame. Those who refuse to believe that there’s a problem might push them away.

Frustrations can also build up inside other family members. They might become angry that the person is unable to stop gambling. Some of them may fail to understand the power of addiction and become unable to sympathize with the gambler.

From their anger, they may lash out against the person, igniting more fights and adding to the stress faced by the family.

Health Impacts

Addictions can ruin lives. Being in debt and having constant fights over gambling can profoundly impact the family members’ mental health. Furthermore, the family support system can deteriorate as family relationships become strained.

For example, the spouse of the gambler might start to lose their trust. They may become paranoid whenever cash disappears and pin the blame on the player. Instead of being a source of support, the family can become a breeding ground for negativity.

If this unhealthy environment continues, family members may develop mental conditions. The risk of falling into depression or anxiety can increase as the situation seems to become more hopeless.

Physical health is also in danger once the situation involves violence. All the stress and pain can lead people towards physical alterations, which only makes the situation worse.

Ways To Cope

While the situation may look grim, there are still ways to stop the addiction. The most crucial step is to seek mental health services.

A mental health professional would help you find ways to avoid triggers and fight against the urge to play. They would also help the family understand the situation and form a secure support system to help the gambler rehabilitate.

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The family members should also educate themselves on gambling addiction. They should know how to avoid enabling behaviors and how to lend emotional support properly. Finally, love and understanding should always be the family’s priority to foster a supportive environment that leads to healing.

Gambling has many intense effects on the family. Nevertheless, knowing the addiction symptoms can help families take early action to fight against addiction. 

 

 

Why Online Gambling Is Forbidden Even While Staying At Home

Although many people are getting mad at the government for forcing us to stay at home, a lot more are thankful for the opportunity to avoid social interactions. Everyone knows that that’s how the coronavirus spreads—by practically having different individuals close to your personal space. But when you are cooped up in the house, you will not only be safe from the disease but also have time for activities that you love.

On that note, we hope that you will use your free time to do something amazing for yourself or your family and not spend it on online gambling. Here’s why.

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You Need To Save Your Money For More Essential Expenditures

The first reason why you should lay off online gambling is that most businesses are unstable these days. If you do not work in the food or health industry, you are most likely at home, working partially. It entails that you have not been getting your full salary, but there is not much change in your monthly bills.

Because of the latter, you will be irresponsible to spend what little money you have on online gambling. That is especially true if you got kids depending on you. Instead, you should save your cash for buying essential items. 

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It Will Not Help Curb Your Gambling Issues

I have met one too many individuals who insist that they are resolving their gambling problems by doing it online. Some even take pride in the fact that they no longer go to casinos and stay there until they run out of money. However, kindly answer a few questions below:

    • Do you still spend dollars on the games?
    • Are your eyes glued on the screen for hours?
    • Do you lose sleep over it?

If you say yes to all of that, then your issues are far from being in the past. You must avoid any form of gambling so that your life can return to normal.

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You May Get Scammed And Fall Into Depression

The COVID-19 pandemic sent millions of people in panic mode, to the extent that supermarkets ran out of toilet paper rolls and other essentials. Worse, many businesses had to shut down, thus increasing the unemployment rate in the country. The desperation that stems from this occurrence tends to push some folks to do awful things, particularly creating fake online gambling sites to scam bored gamblers. 

Well, losing a few hundred dollars to scammers may not bother you if you are a multi-millionaire. But for individuals who gamble in hopes of making a quick buck, that can depress you. There is always a 50% chance of getting scammed when online gambling, so you should not do it at all.

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It May Contribute To The Weakening Of Your Immune System

Online gambling is worse than going to casinos. After all, you can start playing as soon as you wake up; you won’t need to get dressed and drive to the establishment. The required virtual funds are not too high, so you may never have to take out a loan or do anything drastic. 

Despite all that, these pros of online gambling can cause you to continue playing until the wee hours often. Instead of sleeping and resting, you can’t take your eyes off the screen. The more you embrace this habit, the more your immune system may weaken, thus inviting viruses to plague your body.

Final Thoughts

Online gambling will never be okay, even if it is legal in the United States. Please do not use your boredom at home as an excuse to start doing it, especially when there are more meaningful activities to do indoors. E.g., cooking, cleaning, playing board games, etc. If you want to have enough money for all your expenses during this pandemic, you should remove online gambling from your budget plans.

Problem Gambler No More

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The 2019 Gambling Addiction Conference was very informative. It was a three-day event at the Hilton Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Missouri. As a substance abuse counselor, I needed to attend that conference for the CPD. It was a 14-unit conference for me and a step up on my career as a counselor. But underneath all that, I desperately wanted to be in that conference since my brother was a problem gambler. That conference was not only for those with drug addiction and sex issues. It was also for those with chronic gambling problems, and I badly had to participate in it.

Continue reading “Problem Gambler No More”

Why Can’t You Gamble During Lockdown?

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I am all-praises for massive establishments that have decided to close their business during this pandemic. I refer to everything from malls to resorts to casinos. That is especially true for the latter, considering they have stayed open 24/7 before the coronavirus outbreak. It shows how much they care for their customers and staff members.

What makes me unhappy nowadays, though, is hearing my 88-year-old grandfather complaining about the lack of casinos available in Vegas. He used to gamble every weekend before his retirement, but he has been going to various casinos several times a week after that. No one in the family seemed to want to stop it, given that Grandpa worked so hard to put his kids to school.

I don’t know if it is because of old age, but Grandpa does not understand why there should be a lockdown. It’s not that he is unaware of the death toll; he watches the news with us. He asks me every morning, “Kid, can you check if Golden Nugget, Wynn, or Caesars Palace is already open?” Each time, too, my answer is always, “No, Grandpa, they are not.”

Nonetheless, our family may be lucky because my grandfather is too old to try checking out those establishments alone. In case you have a loved one who does not allow the lockdown to derail their gambling activities, remind them of the following:

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It Can Prevent You From Eating Healthily

Many casinos are incredible, in the sense that they let the players order food and drinks. Everyone needs sustenance to stay through the night, after all. It brings in more profits to the business, too.

However, a lot of the gamblers I know seldom have time to think about healthy meals. Whether they are winning or losing, they compensate for what’s happening by eating comfort foods. E.g., fries, burgers, pizzas, etc. Such a habit tends to lower your immunity, thus keeping you from avoiding the coronavirus.

It Makes You Prone To Sleep Deprivation

One of the reasons why our family takes turns bringing Grandpa to and from his favorite casinos is to ensure that he goes home every night. If it is up to him, he will choose to stay awake for days in front of slot machines or Blackjack tables. But it cannot be ideal for his health—or anyone else’s health, for that matter.

Sleep deprivation can hamper your body’s ability to fight or dodge the coronavirus. It makes you too weak to do anything, to the extent that you may not think of wearing a mask or washing your hands. In the end, your immune system becomes suppressed, and you may get diagnosed with COVID-19.

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It Exposes You To So Many People

Furthermore, gambling entails that you will be playing against at least two individuals. You will touch the same cards or chips that others have already touched. How confident are you that the dealers have time to disinfect each paraphernalia in their station?

There is no way to guarantee the cleanliness of everyone and everything in a casino. That’s why the owners have decided to shut the establishment down temporarily. That’s also why gamblers need to stop doing this activity for the time being.

Final Thoughts

Gambling is almost impossible to remove from a person who has been doing it for decades. Once the pandemic is over, and the casinos open again, I can foresee my grandfather as one of the folks waiting at the entrance. Despite that, try to coax your gambling loved ones to divert their attention to other hobbies while the coronavirus wreaks havoc out there.

Good luck!

Top Apps for Addiction Recovery

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The 2017 Los Angeles International Conference on Addictive Disorders and Alcoholism was a platform to promote a variety of cases concerning addiction. Professionals were invited, and each representative had different circumstances and findings that will be used to advance research on better modes of therapy.

Therapy nowadays can be flexible. It is now easier to access helpful and useful tools such as apps to aid in the recovering journey without actual monthly therapy sessions in a clinic. This advantage is a plus for people who are anxious to go to a clinic or lack money for treatment. 

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Listed below are top apps for addiction recovery. 

  1. Pear reSET is an app developed by Pear Therapeutics. It is a prescription digital therapeutics company that specializes in producing validated software as tools in helping patients. This app is known for its 12-week program schedule. The program schedule includes engaging lessons along with complementary quizzes to keep the user on track of their progress. (Free App but needs a prescription)
  2. Sober Grid is an app that enables users to create profiles that can be anonymous or not. It allows users to interact and communicate with people who are also in recovery. It is for people who are always traveling because they can check in on a place using a GPS and, at the same time, find other recovering people in the area. (Free App)
  3. Nomo – Sobriety Clock is an app useful for people who want to be tracked and need to track their progress. With the clock function, users can easily mark events during their sobering journey and share it with people like their family, friends, and partner. (Free App)
  4. rTribe is an app that enables users to create anonymous or real profiles. The profiles can be used to communicate with fellow recovering people. With this, the user will feel less alone in the journey. The app can also record the user’s progress, with complete records for a day, relapses and triggers can be traced. Fun fact: former addicts developed it. (Free App)

Technology created a hassle-free option for almost everything. Now is the right time to utilize its function for the better, and that includes health. 

Why Gambling Can Destroy Your Marriage

In any marriage, you face some hurdles along the way. However, some barriers become big obstacles, and they even tend to get in the way of your marriage. Gambling, for example, has been one of the leading causes of marital problems. 

“Couples often feel that they know and understand their partner, and are compatible on most issues. However, this is a mistake.” –Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC

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In fact, gambling increases the likelihood of divorces, because it makes the person who gambles a financial burden. At the same time, partners who gamble may tend to deceive their other half as well as their family, at the expense of getting additional money for their gambling addiction. 

“Compulsive gambling is a serious addiction that can cause severe consequences.” Natalia S. David, PsyD explains. Because of this, the family’s financial status worsens, which forces the other half to carry all the burden by himself or herself. However, how can you control the occasional gambling? Moreover, when would you know that it is already destroying you and your marriage? 

When Is Gambling An Addiction? 

Gambling is any betting or staking that have either zero or high gains. A gambler is conscious that the outcomes may not be in his or her favor. However, he or she still hopes to gain something in the end. Gambling also comes in different forms, such as horse racing, poker, slot machines, and even lottery. However, some types of gambling are riskier than others because some of them face the issue of legality in most countries. 

To know if you are already experiencing gambling addiction, you may notice that you find it hard to resist your impulse in quitting a new round of the game. You get excited every time you gamble, and you anticipate that you can win back everything you lost if you join the next game. However, this can lead to a series of unfortunate decisions, like getting bad loans, using assets as collateral, and so much more. 

How To Stop Gambling Before It Ruins Your Marriage 

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Quitting any addiction is a hard thing to face, and gambling is no different from that. You may find yourself relapsing at some point, but stopping is not as impossible as you think. For any addiction, the first thing that you can do is to decide that you want to stop for good. It is not only for the sake of your marriage but also for your welfare. 

The next step is to undergo therapies with your doctor. Make sure that you include your partner in the sessions, as they can provide the support that you would need at this time. As for the partner without the gambling problems, it is best to give support to your partner since this time will be a critical period of their recovery. 

“Online care is not for every patient or practitioner. Clients with more serious mental illnesses or addictions likely need more treatment than digital therapy can provide. And some clinicians may find certain telehealth modalities difficult,” –Nina Barlevy, PsyD.

It may mean extending a little more of your patience, understanding, and love for them. Spend more time with them, and make sure that you go with them in their therapy sessions. It will not just help your partner finally quit their gambling addiction, but as well as improve your overall relationship with them. It can renew the trust once broken, and even rekindle the flames of your love for them. 

Here’s How You Can Effectively Talk To Your Partner About His Addiction

People with a compulsive gambling addiction may neither admit nor know about their addictive tendencies until it is already too late. Usually, it is the people around them that notice it, especially the suspicion caused by the simple manifestation of the adverse effects of gambling on the everyday lives of these addicts.  

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The chances are high that your partner may not be aware that his simple and casual gambling is already turning into a problematic addiction. The bugging question now is, how can you confront your significant other about his ‘hobby’ that is slowly affecting your lives and relationship negatively?  

Here are some helpful ways to adequately confront your partner: 

Educate Yourself First  

“Gambling addiction is often referred to as the “hidden illness” because there are no physical signs or symptoms that accompany it as is the case with many alcohol or drug abusers.” –Jeremy Frank PhD CADC

Know about the different aspects of gambling addiction – from its causes to the simple signs of concealed addiction. You may not be aware that maybe your spouse is going through a hard time. Hence, gambling. You may not know it, but perhaps, your lover has experienced abuse in the past that may have to lead him to gamble.  

            Source: pxhere.com

Read and browse online forums where people also tell their experiences about this type of problem. Be informed of their compulsive behavior and the addictive nature of gambling. With these, you can think of other ways and hobbies to steer your partner away from gambling.  

Know When It Is The Right Time To Talk 

“Why talk about your problems including mental health challenges? Just talking about your situation to someone can reduce your stress and help you feel better.” –Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD 

Compulsive addicted gamblers have shifting moods most of the time, depending on the result of their gambling session. Learn to be sensitive about you and your partner’s stability of emotions for the hour and don’t let these intense feelings hinder your communication this time. Both of you should feel comfortable and calm to have a clearer mind to process serious issues that are going to be talked about.  

Don’t Look At Him In A Judgemental Way 

Gambling addicts sure have underlying reasons for their addictive behavior. Moreover, the addiction itself will not go away overnight if you do not fix the said reasons first. Doctors and counselors will always say that their recovery is the most effective if they are not abandoned, judged, and blamed for everything that has happened to them.  

Be Ready For Many Denials  

Don’t give up easily if your partner tells you that he does not have any problematic gambling behavior. Remember that it is usual that they deny everything at first. While it is okay that you give him the benefit of the doubt, it is not always right that you fall for more of his lies (denials this time).   

Never Hesitate To Ask For Help 

Get help either from a professional counselor or even a close family member to talk about this problem before or after the confrontation. Especially if you are close to the family of your partner, it is better to open up to them about this kind of issue as they may have better solutions in mind. After all, you also need support for yourself as the discovery of your partner’s gambling addiction is not easy and in fact, depressive.  But note that “Counseling is an investment that requires commitment. You will be spending time, money, and emotional energy to process and/or solve problems.” Sarah Rumpf, MA, LPCC said.

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Other people would opt to leave their spouses and partners upon the discovery of addiction. They would think that every addiction is already beyond repair especially if it is already causing damage to both of them and their relationship. It will not always be the best answer.  

However, you can bring back your partner from the hands of gambling through counseling. Alternatively, do a small confrontation as soon as you spot these subtle signs of addiction to prevent further ruckus for both of you.