If you are in need of gambling help you may find that even when you win large sums of money the winnings will be used to fund more bets until they run out. Recently gaming websites have made gambling more accessible, creating issues for problem gamblers who can gamble at all hours of the day and night. Gambling therapy can take place in groups or on an individual basis and aims to alleviate the destructive effects of problem gambling.
What is gambling addiction?
A gambling addiction is characterised by the continuous urge to gamble, despite the negative impacts it can have. Problem gambling can cause difficulties in relationships and at work, whilst the cost of funding it can become a huge financial burden.
Gambling addiction symptoms
The thrill is linked to risk taking, which induces a natural high. The effect of this altered psychological state is similar to that of stimulant drugs. In the same way that a drug addict becomes preoccupied by their habit so too does the gambling addict. Symptoms of an addiction may include:
- A preoccupation with gambling and loss of interest in other hobbies
- Increasing the quantities gambled to recoup lost bets or to experience the same thrill
- A negative impact upon relationships with those closest to you
- Concealing the amount of money and time spent betting from family members
- Stealing money in order to gamble
- Denial that you have a problem
In addition to these, you may also suffer from physical symptoms. These symptoms include anxiety alongside irritability, headaches, stomach upsets and stress-related symptoms.
For more information on the symptoms of gambling then please click here.
Gambling addiction treatment at the Priory
Gambling addiction can make you feel as though you are losing control. The main approach to gambling therapy is by using some form of psychological support or intervention. This may involve getting help from professionals or joining a self-help group such as GamCare or Gamblers Anonymous; these groups offer local, telephone and online help.
The first step is to try to understand why the addiction developed, and what other stresses or problems you may be trying to avoid. This may be explored through individual, or support group therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective and can help people to understand what triggers gambling and the ways in which you may change your behaviour. Medical treatments can also play an important part in relieving underlying stress or depression.
Free initial gambling therapy assessment
We understand embarking upon gambling therapy can be an emotionally turbulent time for you. With this in mind, the Priory offers a free initial assessment with an experienced therapist at all of our addiction treatment hospitals and clinics to help you discuss your addiction in confidence.