Understanding Gambling Addiction

Understanding Gambling AddictionFor better or for worse, gambling has become firmly entrenched in our culture. We are constantly bombarded with commercials for casinos and the lottery. They tell us how much fun gambling can be. Countless movies have gambling at the heart of their stories. Visit any schoolyard and you’re sure to hear “I bet I can beat you in a race.” The mere fact that is it all around us doesn’t always mean that gambling is completely evil. Millions of folks enjoy the games of chance without any repercussions.

Then there are those who can’t walk away from a bet or a craps table. Those are the ones who invite chaos into their lives with every proverbial roll of the dice. Starting down the road of recovery for a gambling addiction begins with understanding the nature of the addiction itself.

The Definition of Gambling Addiction

A gambling addiction is defined as a pathological or compulsive disorder. In the mind of the addict, the need to gamble takes precedence over everything else — sleeping, eating, family, friends, work. Left unchecked, this form of addiction can only increase in its severity.

Accepting the Problem of Gambling Addiction

You’ve no doubt heard many times that the first step for any recovery process is for the addict to ask for help. That’s very true. Before that, there needs to be a level of honesty on behalf of the addict.  Some key questions to ask of yourself:

  • Have you tried to stop gambling but couldn’t kick the habit?
  • Have you gambled away a large portion of your weekly paychecks or drained your bank accounts?
  • Have you deserted paying bills to support your gambling?
  • Have you lied to family members about your gambling activities?
  • Have you felt depressed or suicidal over your gambling losses?

A “yes” answer to any one of those questions should be considered a red flag issue that needs to be dealt with through treatment.

Who Can Become a Gambling Addict?

When it comes to addictive behavior,  gambling doesn’t discriminate. Anyone can develop a habitual gambling problem — men, women, young and old. Even the very rich and the very poor can can have problems with gambling. Don’t think that any group is excluded from the addiction.

Gambling Addiction Misconceptions

Mention the word addiction to someone and they’ll conjure up images of drunks or druggies but not gamblers. The medical fact is that those same pleasure responses that occur in the brain of a drug addict or alcohol are also occurring in the gambler — different triggers, but identical reactions. This is why a gambling addict loses control: they are chasing their own version of a high.

Recovery for Gambling Addiction

As with those other forms of addictions, a person suffering from gambling addiction can find effective treatment. If they are committed to working their recovery program, they can break the habit and learn how to manage their impulses. Will it take hard work? Absolutely. That work can begin with a call to the toll-free number on this page. Now that you understand gambling addiction, make the call to a gambling treatment helpline.