10 Signs You’re Becoming An Addict

In any type of addiction, recognizing early-warning signs is vital to a speedy recovery. This is especially true of gambling, where failing to cut oneself off in time can result in significant debt, severe depression, and worse. The fact that you’re reading this blog is already a step in the right direction — it shows that you’re committed to at least doing some research on the matter. Let’s strike while the iron is hot and look at 10 indicators you need help with a gambling addiction. 

Source: nmhcare.org

You’re Having Difficulty Organizing Your Thoughts 

Addiction can lead to the feeling of being “scatterbrained” whenever we’re not where our impulses crave us to be. We see it in cigarette smokers if they frequently insist they need another hit in order to stay focused. We see it in alcoholics if they consistently express a need for a drink to clear their heads. Throwing money at the slot machines can follow a similar line-of-thought. Don’t con yourself into believing excessive gambling is a source of mental clarity. It doesn’t bring zen. It brings anguish. Remember, “The lack of awareness of the disorder makes it difficult enough to identify problem gamblers and connect them to treatment, much less address the impact problem gambling has on loved ones.” Damon Dye, EdD, LMHC, NCGC II, BACC  said.

You Keep Purchasing Lotto Tickets “Just Because” 

Gas station attendants might just be the folks who are the most capable of recognizing a gambling addict. Their primary purpose is to tender gasoline transactions, but most gas stations and tie-in convenience stores sell lottery and scratch-off tickets, too. Plenty of people fall into the habit of purchasing these quick-play gambling games whenever they’re filling up their car, and that adds up fast. It’s easy to stop viewing it as a fun little occasional distraction and start buying daily, so kick the habit before it takes over your routine. 

You’re Cancelling Social Events  

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“If you find yourself avoiding parties, work gatherings, or even your own friends and family, there may be a fear of judgment or underlying feelings of inadequacy.” Dr. Marisa Alter, PsyD, a clinical psychologist  explains. We can’t always make room for scheduled hangouts with our friends and family. Stuff comes up no matter how hard we try to perfect our itinerary. This is fine. What isn’t fine is cancelling frequently and for no recognizable reason. If you’re experiencing a rise in inexplicable apathy, take a look at your leisure activities. Maybe you’re getting too heavily into those poker games. 

You’ve Been Told You’re Irritable Lately 

Trust your loved ones to know you better than you might think they do. If you’ve been hearing complaints lately that you’ve been getting cranky, take stock of your surroundings, especially if you hadn’t realized you’ve changed until someone pointed it out. When addiction begins to overwhelm us, our minds rebel to the negative emotions, and we sometimes take it out on others without realizing it. 

Your Boss Isn’t Satisfied With Your Work 

If you used to be a prime candidate for employee-of-the-month but your performance evaluations have tanked since you took up slots, you’d best consider putting that cruise ship vacation on hold until further notice. Productivity often falls by the wayside when addiction gets serious. 

You Gamble Alone 

Occasional, responsibly-financed trips to casinos can be fun as a group event or with a few close friends. Like any entertainment venue, there comes a point when enough is enough. There’s nothing inherently wrong with visiting casinos alone, but it can be a warning sign. You’ve written off the social aspect, so are you only here for the money? 

You’re Glued To YouTube Gambling Videos 

YouTube and similar services offer us a doorway for learning all kinds of things. If you’ve subscribed to a bunch of channels about poker probability and slots distribution, consider taking a step back and evaluating your current life choices. There’s nothing wrong with learning this stuff, and it might give you an edge at the weekly company card night. But make sure that’s all that’s going on, here. Because “Even those who have never been to a casino and likely never will can still become addicted gamblers because of the proliferation of gambling websites.” says Dr. David Hodgson.

Source: addictions.com

You’ve Started Lying 

Now we’re getting into the darker symptoms of gambling addiction. People who develop a “need” for gambling quickly find a similar “need” for covering their tracks when loved ones begin inquiring as to their whereabouts and why they look so glum and all those other considerations. You’ll have to admit your problem soon enough, so nip those fibs in the bud. 

You’re Viewing Gambling As Extra Income 

This one’s dangerous. Many folks who develop an addiction start out with a couple of casual trips to the roulette wheel and then when money’s tight they begin to calculate how much they’d need to win to cover the rest of their utility bills, or their child’s education. You know what they say about that place that’s paved with good intentions.  

You’re “Just Going Back to Zero” 

If you’re throwing money at the hope of climbing back to your starting bet, chances are you’re really just throwing that money away. Think statistically. If you’re somewhat in debt now due to a compulsory gambling condition, you’re definitely addicted, and you need to think about getting your savings back up rather than wasting what you have left. 

Online Avenues On The Road to Quitting Gambling

Source: theaftd.org

If you’ve made a decision to walk away from compulsive gambling, we’d like to congratulate you. We’d also like to warn you that it won’t be an easy journey. You’ll need all the help you can get, from comprehensive counseling sessions to weekly support groups to friends and family. But it may seem like there’s never enough time for even half of that. Or circumstances may stand in the way of fulfilling all these goals. Or perhaps you’ll simply find that you need even more assistance, and that’s no great shame. What matters is that, one way or the other, you have someone there for you. 

That’s why today we’ll be focusing on the virtual side of support. So much is available right at our fingertips if we know where to look, so be sure to bookmark a few of our suggestions. 

Reddit 

Although it was founded some 12 years ago in June of 2005, social news aggregation website Reddit began its rise to prominence sometime around 2011. The internet of the current decade has clearly been defined in part by the website, which hosts hundreds of thousands of “sub-forum” communities. If you can think of it, Reddit probably has a community dedicated to it, from jobs to jokes to jogging to geometry. There are multiple communities dedicated to gambling as well, including a few which are designed to help recovering addicts find mutual support and move on with their lives.  

You can think of the page, known as “r/ProblemGambling”, as an online support group that’s open 24/7, rain or shine, 365 days a year. You can read what others have gone through and find common ground. Former compulsive gamblers frequently leave messages discussing the techniques that worked for them. If you’re awake at four in the morning dreading the difficulty that you face in staying away from the casino, you’ll always have this venue through which to type your thoughts and let your voice be heard.  

Hotlines 

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 A quick online search can result in dozens of call centers worldwide wholly dedicated to helping you get through this. Just hop on Google or Bing and see what’s out there. Different hotlines can be specialized for folks from different walks of life, but not a single one of them will turn you away. So if you ever find yourself in desperate need of an immediate outlet — someone who will listen and be there for you no matter the occasion — take the time to browse the web just for a few seconds. You’ll be glad you did. 

NCPG 

The National Council on Problem Gambling features an in-depth website built from the ground up to give you the help you need. If you reside within the United States, it’s a one-stop source that should prove invaluable in your recovery process. With directories for every state, links and contact information for a variety of aid facilities in your area, a phone number and chat support, you’ll know the folks in charge of the site truly care for your wellbeing. It’s also an officially-recognized national organization, so it receives plenty of funding to keep people from falling back into tempting old ways. Plus, it plays host to its own Reddit-esque peer-moderated support forums where you can discuss the specifics of your struggle with others. 

If you don’t live in the US, take heart: there are many similar sites to the NCPG which cater to the populations of other countries. You can even find links to international agencies through their homepage. 

Further Suggestions 

Source: clareslaneycounselling.com

 

There are so many online opportunities for compulsive gambling support that we could probably spend all day discussing the remaining options. And, truth be told, there are undoubtedly plenty which we haven’t even found ourselves. Your best bet for further ideas is to consult your counselor, coworkers, and loved ones. Your counselor will likely have several links handy at any given time; they know how prevalent the web has become as a tool for recovery. Others in your support network who have gone through similar challenges or who know someone who has may also have favorite sites.  

If there’s one thing we hope we’ve established for you today, it’s that you’re never alone. The internet is a boundless place for guidance if you know where to look and it’s been populated with people just like you who have gone through what you’re up against now and been successful. You will get through this. 

Break The Losing Streak: Getting Help to Quit The Game

Source: gamblingsite.net

Understanding the root causes of addiction is crucial to recovering. The better we understand ourselves, the more prepared we are to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. Today we’ll look at a few of the ways people become addicted to gambling and how to be open with your mental health counselor about your own personal story.  

Gambling as Void Fulfillment 

No one wants to lead a dull life. Dullness is boring and boredom is never fun. For many, addiction begins when we grow too attached to a particular source of entertainment. We subconsciously latch onto it to provide a daily sense of achievement. Gambling is a prime example of this, because the instant we win, we experience an endorphin rush. It isn’t hard to see why we can go overboard and develop an addiction when that rush feels so fleetingly satisfying.  “They gamble to reach the high. They gamble to escape emotional pain for hours, for days, until the money runs out. They quickly relish the winnings, investing nearly all of it back over the next days and weeks. They slowly destroy their lives. They get caught in the cycle.” As explained by Damon Dye, EdD, LMHC, NCGC II, BACC.

The thing we need to realize is that there are hundreds of more genuinely fulfilling things we can be doing. Taking up gardening probably won’t ever lead to finding $10,000 in our yard, but can produce fresh fruits and vegetables without the probability of us losing $10,000 to get there. Alternatively, you can opt for something more minute-to-minute exciting, like getting in-shape to run races and learn the martial arts. You can even get a local sports team up and running and train to “win big” with a last-second touchdown. 

The Ties That Bind 

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“Compulsive Gambling is when an individual is unable to control their desire to gamble. A compulsive gambler will continue to make wagers regardless of how often or how much they win or lose,” explains Aaron Sternlicht, LMHC, CASAC. Compulsive gambling doesn’t typically develop in a vacuum. There are usually direct ties to preexisting problems, and identifying those problems will help you and your health care provider to break the addiction. Depression can lead to addiction because when we’re feeling glum we often lose sight of what’s important and feel a willingness to toss aside reason in favor of reckless abandon. “After all, what does it matter if I lose? It’s not like my life is worth much to begin with.” This is a dark thought that can have serious emotional ramifications. If you’ve experienced such thinking while struggling with gambling, you have a clear and present root cause and you should inform your counselor immediately. 

Anxiety follows along a similar track. Anxiousness over looming challenges can lead us to seek outlets for our apprehension, and those outlets aren’t always productive. Temptation to “live a little” before a major life change can take us to the casino, but we need to remember how to take ourselves back home afterward.  

Money Matters 

Source: kapamilya.com

“Many people mistakenly believe that if they just had more money, all their stress would disappear and they’d be blissfully happy.” Bahareh Talei, Psy.D. said. However, it is not. That is why financial challenges are a common source of compulsive gambling. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever seen an old gangster movie, but plenty of the people glued to the poker table are in debt. If you’ve fallen on hard times and don’t know if you can recover, gambling is never the answer. You’ll only fall further into debt. But no matter how far you’ve slid, it’s never too late to walk away. Be frank with your counselor about your financial burdens. Go into clear and concise detail about what brought you into the hope that gambling would help, and listen to their advice. 

You may also wish to consult an economic advisor. Opening up about the reality of debt is a harsh subject, but avoiding the issue will only bring further hardship. If you’re privileged to know someone personally with an exhaustive economic background, make asking them for help a significant priority. Set up a meeting, offer to pay for coffee, and be forthcoming about the problems that you face. Ensure that they understand you’re on the road to recovery and thank them for taking the time to make a difference. 

Follow All Directions 

We’ll close with an obvious but nevertheless urgent piece of advice. Your counselor wants what’s best for you, so take this seriously and consider everything that they say to you. Don’t leave your counseling sessions behind at the door; take them with you everywhere you go. Think critically about what you’re told and meditate over it in the morning or before bed. Make it a part of your daily routine, replacing the time you’d previously spent agonizing over gambling. Adopt a new philosophy of positive change and you’ll break the losing streak with a true victory. 

Keeping Your Kids Away From Casino Cravings

Source: glossynews.com

Although occasional trips to the casino can make for a fun divergence from day-to-day living, all too often folks find themselves drawn back there day after day until they’re indebted and depressed. For those of us who have had a challenging time with gambling in the past, or who are struggling to get away from it even now, we will want to ensure our children never go through this.

“Even those who have never been to a casino and likely never will can still become addicted gamblers because of the proliferation of gambling websites.” –Dr. David Hodgson

Let’s talk about some ways to approach teenagers about the dangerous allure of gambling and why it’s important we keep ourselves in check when we play. Although it will be a few more years before they’re legally admitting in, thank goodness, it’s never too early to set a good example. (As the old saying goes, “if we don’t talk to our kids, who will?”) 

Gamble loudly, but not frequently 

Time spent at a casino should be kept to a minimum. Rather than developing a hobby around the activity, young people should treat it as a yearly or bi-yearly event where friends get together for an hour or two and try their luck. Suggest that they combine it with other activities as part of a birthday celebration or while attending a wedding. They’ll have fun with their friends for a short while and then they’ll have fun somewhere else.  

Gamble smartly, but not expensively 

Source: fm.cnbc.com

Parents know teaching teens about how to manage their finances can be a full-scale curriculum. Budgeting is a big part of that most absurd of modern words, “adulting”, and budgeting one’s spending money can be that much harder. Needless to say, it’s necessary that your teenager understands the difference between cost-of-living and whatever’s left over before you even approach them about being cautious at a casino. Once that’s out of the way, you have a clear line to set boundaries on how much they should be comfortable taking with them.

One of the best things we can do when we gamble is to bring a set amount of cash with us and leave the rest out of reach. The sooner you drill this tactic into your son’s or daughter’s mind, the savvier they’ll be at the slot machines. “Although any kind of gambling can become addictive, video slot and poker machines are the most seductive because they offer the greatest escape.” psychologist Robert Hunter elaborates. 

Gamble socially, but not competitively 

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Since you’ve told your teen why it’s a good idea to bring some friends, you should also emphasize with them how everyone can watch one-another’s backs while they’re there. Whoever they go to the casino with, it had best be people they trust — and, if possible, people who you trust, too. If they’re away at college, you’ll need to accept that they’re growing up and you can’t keep a constant eye on them anymore, but good parenting always leaves an indelible impact — believe in them to make mature decisions in their socializing. 

At any rate, so long as they’re in with a good bunch and hitting up the Hard Rock infrequently, they’re already off to a good start. Advise them to keep respectable tabs on how the bets are coming along in their social group, and to have them see about the team working together in a pact to make sure no one gets in over their heads. Having someone there with us to offer not only words of encouragement but words of caution as well can be an invaluable tool.  

Gambling should never be about betting against one-another to see who wins big, either. It’s us against the house, and your teen needs to understand that. Competition between friends is perfectly healthy, but it sometimes leads to overspending at casinos thanks to increasingly desperate bids to outperform friendly rivals. This is a slippery slope philosophy and it ought to be avoided at all costs. So “If your gambling addiction has led to severe social, medical, legal and/or financial difficulties, you may need to find an inpatient program to give a jumpstart to your treatment.” Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D., a licensed psychologist and marriage and family counselor suggests.

How To Admit Your Gambling Problem

Source: recoveryranch.com

So you’ve accepted the unfortunate truth: you have a gambling problem. The old cliche is true here; this really is the most important step. But it’s still just the first step, and some of those steps are going to be harder than others. It’s one thing to discuss an addiction with a paid professional we haven’t met before, but what about the folks we have a history with? What about friends, co-workers, siblings, parents? What about our own children? Today we’ll help you plan this important conversation and muster the courage to open a dialog. 

Understand the Importance 

Before you can discuss your addiction openly, you have to understand why it’s so important that you do so. There are many reasons, from being able to accept yourself for who you are to easing the tension in your life, but we believe the biggest reason of all is that you need to be real with the rest of the world. People deserve to see the real you, and it will make future conversations so much easier when you’re no longer hiding behind a mask. We’re all flawed, so don’t fall victim to the fear that you’ll be seen as subhuman just because you made mistakes. Anyone who behaves as such is certainly facing serious problems of their own. Remember, “The first step was to understand that our goal was to mainstream addiction treatment into the general delivery of health care.” Navdeep Kang, PsyD said.

Have Answers 

Source: 4.bp.blogspot.com

“Admitting you have a problem is the first step in treating your addiction. However, due to the nature and the danger of this disease, simply just stopping on your own is highly unadvisable.” Dr. Howard Samuels, PsyD. said. When you open yourself up and admit your gambling addiction, you’ll be asked questions. You need to answer them. People will wonder what they can do for you, how this all started in the first place, what you’re doing to end it, why you finally realized your problem, and so forth. You may even be asked the current state of your finances. So long as you trust the people you’re speaking with — and really, you should only be admitting this to those you trust — you need to be completely forthcoming. It’s vital that the folks in your life have a deep picture of your circumstances. It’s the only way they can help. 

Prepare for Pain 

There’s bound to be some negativity involved in this process. You probably already knew that, and there’s a good chance it’s what’s prevented you from taking the plunge before reading this. Loved ones may feel hurt that you didn’t speak with them sooner. They may even feel hurt that they didn’t recognize the signs and force you to find help before it got any worse. There might be anger, too. Anger that you waited so long, anger that they were lied-to, anger at their own perceived helplessness.  

Trust issues will arise in any financial scenario. This is all ugly, but it doesn’t have to be a disaster. Facing the pain is absolutely mandatory for the healing process and you’ll never truly face it without admitting it. You’ll always be harboring some dark secret, and you’ll still be lying as a result. You’re ready to move on and get treated now, so end the cycle of hurt with those that care about you. Reconciliation, if necessary, will come in time. 

Steel Yourself and Live Happier 

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“Give yourself permission to do some serious emotional healing to become your happiest self and remember, it is a process more than a destination.” Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD said. Now that you’re open about your gambling problem, you need to be prepared for increased stress as you address it with those around you. Make sure your counselor and support network are available when you’re feeling down, and practice channeling your stress into more productive tasks than gambling, like finding new hobbies and making up for lost time with loved ones. The beautiful thing is that your support network will only expand as you admit your issues, so in a very real sense you’re expanding your help net with every discussion you make. Take solace in this and move forward into a brighter, more fulfilling tomorrow. 

10 Personal Challenges With Better Odds Than Gambling

Source: grandforksherald.com

      “Compulsive Gambling is when an individual is unable to control their desire to gamble. A compulsive gambler will continue to make wagers regardless of how often or how much they win or lose.” –Aaron Sternlicht, LMHC, CASAC

         Compulsive gambling problems can arise for all sorts of reasons. No two cases are exactly alike, since we’re all individuals with our own life stories. For some, a need for money leads to losing big. For others, it’s a predisposition toward addictive behavior that drives us into debt. Another common cause, however, is simply a love for the game. If you’ve built an enthusiasm for constructing the best hands in poker and calculating the greatest odds in roulette, there’s a pretty good chance you crave creative outlets that challenge you to go boldly. Here are ten alternative strategies to scratching that itch without breaking the bank.

Cooking

            Anyone who’s ever baked a quiche knows what a challenge cooking can be. Eat great food and impress all your guests by upping your culinary game. Invest in sous vide appliances and start learning how to prepare delicious melt-in-your-mouth steaks. Once you have a handle on the hard stuff, show off your finest fare at local competitions. Maybe you can make it to the finals!

“Cooking helps mental health in that it can be a creative outlet. It’s a way to channel energy, can be used as a distraction, help build mastery in a skill, and a way to express emotions through a different medium.” –Counselor Nicole Lambert

Reading and Writing

            Reading, in and of itself, isn’t difficult. But reading all kinds of genres? Gaining sagely knowledge on the world around you? And then applying what you’ve learned by way of presenting your own material? Now that’s tricky. There’s money to be made in self-publishing, so why not write about your life and the struggles you’ve endured? Who knows, maybe you’ll give hope to someone who’s presently going through a gambling addiction of their own.

Sports

            Just because you’re too old for varsity doesn’t mean you can’t still kick the ball. Gather your co-workers and organize a company softball team. Call up some friends for a neighborhood soccer extravaganza. Channel those competitive urges of yours in a more productive fashion and earn bragging rights if you win.

Gaming

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            There are plenty of games out there which don’t involve purchasing chips and tokens. Schedule a monthly board game night where your expert financial forecasts can translate to a big game of Monopoly and your military background gives you an edge at Risk. Or get a group going for trivia night at that swanky bar downtown. You can even pick up a dedicated gaming console and impress your friends at Street Fighter. Whatever floats your boat.

Martial Arts

            Speaking of fighting, have you ever thought about going back for that black belt in karate? Most towns and cities have at least a few options for disciplined fitness through the martial arts. From kung fu to tae kwon do, tai chi to Brazilian kickboxing, there’s so much fun to be had. Take your competitive spirit to the next level and participate in tournaments when you’re ready.

Bodybuilding

            Maybe fitness sounds fun but you’d rather not restrict yourself to forms and stances. There’s bound to be a gym nearby, so maybe your next big hobby rests in massive biceps. The web is full to bursting with information on how to plan your total body makeover, and it will take careful planning to enrich your core strength.

The Stock Market

            This one comes with a disclaimer: if you’re worried you’re not ready to make big decisions with your finances yet as you recover from a gambling addiction, it’s best to steer clear of this option for now. Otherwise, why not spend some time researching trends in the market and putting your money somewhere with better odds for success? You’ll be playing into many of the same mental strategizing as you might have done in blackjack, but on a grander, somewhat safer scale.

Starting a Business

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            Similar to stocks, you’ll want to veer clear of this if you’re in need of rebuilding financially. Once things are back in order, though, you can consider the benefits of starting a business completely from scratch. Watch a few seminars online, meet with people who have pulled it off, and carve out a niche for your town’s economy. From coffee shops to construction firms, there’s always something we can strive to create.

Marathons

            Let’s bounce back to exercising for a moment. Marathons are a great place to experience high-octane thrills and seek out a celebratory victory. You’ll need to make yourself a strict schedule if you’ll want a shot at winning — this is a timesink, through and through. Daily goals will need to be surpassed. Challenges will need to be exceeded. You’ll have to give your all if you even want to complete the course.

Acting

            We’ll close with something a bit unconventional. There’s nothing quite like tossing aside our real selves for a little while in favor of a scripted persona. It takes a serious dedication to the craft and a willingness to step outside our comfort zone. In short, it’s perfect for folks who are seeking a difficult win. Don’t expect to quit your day job — most acting gigs are small-time pay and done for fun — but if your city has a theater troupe and you have a passion for the arts, what’s stopping you from being someone else?

“Drama therapy, you might use theater games, storytelling, and enactment to help cope with grief and loss, isolation and conflict. Drama therapy can also promote positive changes in mood, insight and empathy and facilitate healthy relationships.” –Robin D. Stone, LMHC

The Dangers of Gambling Addiction

Source: npgam.org

Last month it was all over the news – a man who appeared to be sane and behaving normally walked into a casino to play. After a few hours with no hope of winning back what he had lost, he found his way out to get gasoline and went back in, setting a casino table on fire and causing more than 30 people to die due to suffocation. 

I’ve watched couples, friends, and relationships fail because of gaming addiction. Apparently, there’s more to it than just losing money and having a bad night. Gambling is one of the top causes of job loss, substance abuse, and compromised physical and mental well-being. Let us delve deeper into the dangers of gambling and its effects on family, friends, business, and overall health. 

Gambling Defined

According to Hailey Shafir, LPCS, LCAS, CCS-I “Gambling Disorder is characterized by a pattern of compulsive gambling that becomes problematic and leads to the experience of negative consequences in an individual’s life.” In literal terms, gambling is the practice of playing a game and betting on something of value with the primary goal of winning. It involves the risk of losing money or properties. It can actually be an enjoyable pastime for kids and adults alike. However, for adults who engage in casinos or the lottery, it is such devastation when winning or losing big time depends solely on chance. Then, gambling becomes a harmful past time. And although almost all of United States legalizes gambling, addiction to it gravely puts individuals and their families in jeopardy. 

Source: wakeupnews.eu

The Serious Cons of Gambling

The emerging popularity of gambling has prompted the attention of banks and other financial institutions. This is because they have been victims of gambling addicts who acquire huge amounts of credit to fill their urge to bet continually, despite their large losses. They feel that that the next dice will finally give them the win that will regain all that they have spent, only to lose again. Gamblers further intensify these problems when they borrow more money to meet their family’s financial responsibilities. When they are unable to do so, they resort to more negative measures, such as selling their jewelry, their car, and in other cases, even their houses; The money for which will have been lost to another round of baccarat.  This vicious cycle poses a serious setback economically, with studies suggesting that the American government spends about $40 billion in credit losses and social services alone.  

“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, a Philadelphia Psychologist & Addiction Counselor explains. Socially, gambling addiction not only affects the addict himself but the rest of his family and other loved ones. They are usually the go-to people with whom creditors reach out to, because the problem gambler has fled to avoid paying (because he has nothing left) or perhaps he has dug a hole in his kitchen to hide forever! Consequently, the gambler has not only developed stress and anxiety but has rather spread the mental health problems to his family. Sadly, even the children are affected by it, being entangled with parental issues caused by financial and emotional issues. In the end, they will be at a risk of being poor and without parental attention, all because the problem gambler will have developed harmful and undesirable behavior.  

The issue of gambling addiction has continually been addressed in most of the United States, as it has been cited to also cause health problems and criminality. For the gambling addict, there IS a cure for you. But, you have to decide first whether or not you need to quit and look for help. Start with family and friends. Express your desire to stop gambling and be open to different measures that can help you in stopping the addiction. You can also seek professional help. If going to a psychiatrist’s clinic is not a good idea for you, find certified therapists online who are as capable and knowledgeable. “They might be recognizing the ways in which your gambling is affecting you before you are. The sooner you seek help and treatment, the less damage to your finances, relationships, and work you will have to repair.” Jeremy Frank, PhD, CAC  said. Quit today. Save your family. Save yourself. 

Source: youtube.com

 

Gambling Support Groups And What They Do

Introduction

In this world where most people yearn for fast money and easy solutions to their financial problems, more and more individuals are addicted to gambling. Whether it be slot machines, bingo, mahjong, baccarat, or the lottery, men and women are equally drawn to these supposedly recreational activities that have caused a lot of damage to themselves and their families. Approximately 1.6 billion individuals are reported to be involved in gambling every year – that is quite an overwhelming number!

Source: nice-casinos.com

Because of this, gambling support groups have slowly emerged. These groups aim to provide vital information about the risks and dangers of gambling addiction. They also help gambling addicts wean from their addiction through therapy and counseling. Here are some of the gambling support groups and what they actually do to the help the gambler free himself from his gambling addiction.

“Gambling addiction is a growing problem as games of chance become increasingly more accessible in society.” –Cami Renzoni, a certified mental health aid provider.

Gambling Support Groups

The Gamblers Anonymous 12-Step Program aims to help the gambling addict accept his problem of addiction, take responsibility for it, and ultimately quit gambling and take back the life he lost because of his addiction. It offers online support through trained and professional counselors who are available to converse with the problem gamblers and find effective measures to get rid of their addiction. The program has built some essential concepts that when structurally followed, will impact positively on the lives of the gambling addicts and eventually help them quit and take on a fresh, gamble-free perspective in life.

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Run by former gamblers themselves, the Problem Gamblers Peer Support has become popular because gambling addicts find it easier to open up and communicate their struggles. They are also very accessible and very supportive of their ‘patients’ because they have been there and are empathic of what they are going through. Most problem gamblers, on the other hand, prefer to join this group because they are more comfortable and therefore can be more honest about how they feel about their gambling problem.

“The lack of awareness of the disorder makes it difficult enough to identify problem gamblers and connect them to treatment, much less address the impact problem gambling has on loved ones.” –Damon Dye, EdD, LMHC, NCGC II, BACC

SMART Recovery is a self-help program that is similarly geared towards helping the gambling addict rid himself of his gambling addiction by providing essential information on how excessive gambling can lead to broken families, unemployment, and eventually developing criminal behaviors such as stealing, misuse of company funds, and even suicide. SMART, or Self-Management and Recovery Training, has proven itself a highly effective program through several research studies. It utilizes a four-step program as an alternative to Gam-Anon’s 12-step program.

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If you are a wife, mother, or significant other of a problem gambler, the Friends and Family Therapy Group is available to help you deal with your partner, son/daughter or friend who is addicted to gambling. Here you can vent your emotions and learn things and issues that other family members or friends are going through. You will sometimes realize that there are other gamblers who have more problems than your significant other, and that there is hope for these problem gamblers through your help, your patience and your guidance as well.

Final Thoughts

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Gambling is undeniably a worldwide problem that is causing physical, emotional and mental damage to the gambling addict and to his family and friends. It is something that should be treated the way alcoholism, drug addiction and mental illness should be dealt with – with seriousness and definitely with a hope that with the right kind of help, the gambling addict can take back his life successfully.

“They might be recognizing the ways in which your gambling is affecting you before you are. The sooner you seek help and treatment, the less damage to your finances, relationships, and work you will have to repair.” –Jeremy Frank, PhD, CAC

 

Teenagers And Gambling

 

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With the internet being open to minors, it is highly likely that kids below the age of 18 may have experienced some type of online gambling. In fact, countries like Australia, Canada and the Unites States have reported that at least 70% of their teenagers, have admitted to gambling within the past year – this encompasses both online and traditional gambling.

Is this a cause for concern? Of course, it is. Gambling may seem fun and winning makes it sweeter, but it can be the start of a mental health issue later in life which is Gambling Addiction. “Gambling Disorder is characterized by a pattern of compulsive gambling that becomes problematic and leads to the experience of negative consequences in an individual’s life.” Hailey Shafir, LPCS, LCAS, CCS-I said.

Is it possible for our teens to gamble without our knowledge?

Don’t underestimate the temptation power of teenage gambling. If you think that your child at the tender age of 15 is innocent of this addictive act, well, you’re very wrong. Studies show that kids without parental control start gambling at the age of 10. By the time they’re 15, they have done it at least once, if not more and regularly.

How can our teens be exposed to gambling?

“There is also little doubt that all of the new technologies, led by the Internet, are shaping the way we think in ways obvious and subtle, deliberate and unintentional, and advantageous and detrimental.”  Jim Taylor Ph.D. said. Those card games at home even without actual money to place a bet or buying of lottery tickets – these are forms of gambling that our teenagers may take an interest in. Online gambling is also accessible. Even if they’re not 18 yet, they can always lie online so that they can play. Online games are also an avenue for our teenagers to gamble. They can use their iPhones, Android phones, iPads, tablets and PC anytime and anywhere to “play” their game.

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Why is gambling fun for children and teens?

Children and teens believe that gambling is “normal” because it’s fun to do. It is exciting and the thought of getting money quick is really awesome. Imagine – a teen can win $100 in a 2-minute game! Who wouldn’t be tempted by that, right?

How can we explain to our children about the negative side of gambling?

We have to raise awareness to our children especially those who are below 18 years old about the negative effects of gambling and the addiction itself. As a parent, you can provide a very concrete example to them like celebrities who have lost their life earnings because of gambling. Better yet, If you know someone who is a gambling addict, you can also direct your teenager to that person and tell your teen that the reason why this person is having a difficult life now is because of losses in gambling. Another effective way in explaining about it is to show the odds like – a person can win the lottery one shot against 15 million. This may open his or her eyes on the “absurdity” of gambling addiction.

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What are the warning signs that your teen may be into gambling?

  • * Changes in handling money. Your teen may have so much which didn’t come from you or from work sources.
    * Borrowing of money often
    * Not sleeping well, awake until the wee hours of the morning and always tired during the day
    * Low grades in school
    * Isolating self from friends and other social gatherings
    * Displaying a positive attitude towards traditional and online gambling
    * Looking at sports odds and not watching the game itself
    * Keeping it a secret
    * Denial

How can I help my teen if he becomes a gambling addict?

The only way to stop your teen from his or her gambling addiction is through intervention and therapy. This is not a money or a game issue. “Addiction psychology is only a primary focus. Psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral approaches, mindfulness and evidence based practices. Trusting that clients know how to steer the direction for what should be discussed in therapy.” Jeremy Frank PhD CADC, a Philadelphia Psychologist & Addiction Counselor  explains. It is a behavioral and mental disorder problem. If all else fails, submitting your teen to cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy or gambling addiction therapy with the assistance of mental health professionals, whether he or she likes it or not, will begin his or her healing and treatment. It will not be easy but it has to be done.

Reasons Why You Need To Stop Gambling Right Now

 

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It is definitely an addiction. There is no question about it. The biggest problem why gamblers usually end up in a dumpster is their cold reasoning that justifies why they always need to be on the table. It is a matter of being on their seats during high-risk tussles. Whether it’s poker, blackjack, backgammon or even slot machines, a sense of satisfaction is being pursued by any roller.

“Problem gamblers tend to minimize their problem or deny that their gambling has become uncontrolled.” As explained by Jeremy Frank PhD CADC, a Philadelphia Psychologist & Addiction Counselor. For lots of gamblers, it is about satisfying their kicks. There is an itchiness that needs to be scratched and that manifests on the betting table. The common rationale that gives them an excuse is based on the grounds of entertainment. However, such pretext will always push them to succumb to financial, social, emotional and psychological troubles. If you have a gambling problem, there are essential things that you must know.

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Here are some reasons why you need to stop gambling right now:

Casino will ALWAYS WIN.

Primarily, you should know that casinos always get the last laugh. It is not a myth. Justifying your habit is brought about by the casino’s deliberate strategy. Betting shops have a way of making your margin of losing seem very slim. For instance, playing 80 hands per hour with a $25 wager results in a $20 loss for you. You will not feel this, but in the long run your miscalculations will eventually pile up. Damon Dye, EdD, LMHC, NCGC II, BACC explained that people, “They gamble to reach the high. They gamble to escape emotional pain for hours, for days, until the money runs out. They quickly relish the winnings, investing nearly all of it back over the next days and weeks. They slowly destroy their lives. They get caught in the cycle.”

The Odds is NOT ALWAYS at your FAVOR.

Second, you should re-frame your mindset on the table. The most dangerous phrase that you’ll encounter is “You are due for a win.” You don’t manage the odds for and against you ever. Past and future results are not connected. The next time you lay your cards and money down, you should take note that such gamble is independent from the rest of your approaches. A losing streak is never a prelude to a winning stretch.

It will give you a FALSE SENSE of PLEASURE.

Third, you must be aware that your gambling addiction induces a feeling of pleasure. Your joyfulness when you are gambling is more than just about winning. Medical science reveals that the neurotransmitter dopamine gets activated if you become happy. The process unravels during your betting moments. The real addiction is actually right here. Satisfaction kicks in. You are using gambling as an avenue to keep yourself in high spirits especially when you garner big bucks.

You will DEFINITELY gain HEALTH ISSUES.

Fourth, being addicted to gambling is disastrous to your health.  When your losses mount, your mood swings will only worsen. The bad news is that losing streaks outnumber your winning moments. The end result will be the cultivation of ill feelings, stress, depression and other mental health issues. Negativity will become a habit in the long run. You should never underestimate the effect because it will definitely destroy your health sooner or later.

Say GOODBYE to your LOVED ONES.

More than that, gambling will impair your personal life. Your relationship with other people will be gravely affected. It is not common to find individuals separating from their wives or severing their ties with the rest of their families. Betting addiction will trigger you to find money no matter what. At some point, you may end up stealing or selling another person’s cash or property. It will be the price that you will be paying to sustain your habit.

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The CASINO WORLD is total CRAP.

Lastly, there is a need for you to realize that you will join the Casinos’ robbery targets. The welcome smiles and the good words being thrown your way are all part of a scheme to sustain your addiction. Not only will you lose money. It will all be a waste of your precious time. Therefore, understand that “Gambling addiction therapy is highly effective. However, for gambling therapy to be successful, a person needs to acknowledge their compulsive gambling as a problem.” Cami Renzoni, a certified mental health aid provider. said.