How to stop a gambling addiction


Gambling tends to be an activity that can either reward or punish the person. Sometimes all people can win but they can also lose cash when gambling. The brain is rewarded each time a user hits a winning combination on the slot machine or on a roulette wheel. All gamblers have experienced the feeling of excitement when the white ball has landed on the number that they have picked. Problem gambling arises when the individual can no longer maintain control over their betting. Thus problem gamblers develop a gambling addiction followed by engaging in compulsive gambling.

A gambler knows what is winning and losing streaks in gaming. Many people that have visited a casino or a betting parlor have experienced these streaks. Sometimes the luck just seems to be on the side of the player. Money keeps coming in. At other periods, the bettor can lose their funds. For example, all their gambles result in a loss. It is often said in the world of gambling that a winning streak should be chased but a losing one avoided. A good player will know how to manage their risks and back out when they encounter a series of losses. Problem gamblers, on the other hand, may have the urge to bet more money than usual even when on a losing streak.

Chasing losses is a strong signal of a gambling problem. Feeling the need to always place a bet may be a warning sign of compulsive gambling. Lying to a loved one and avoiding people amounts to having gambling problems. Signs and symptoms of gambling problems are many. An important part to understand is that when a bettor has gambling urges and they wager larger and larger amounts of money they may need professional help. People with gambling problems often avoid being around other individuals. Gambling addicts will place friends and family into problem situations. A problem gambler will go into debt and even obtain money illegally to fuel their addiction. Gambling gambling is all that comes to mind of people with gambling addictions. Someone may even feel the urge to commit suicide because of the debts they have built up. Either way, many lives have been ruined by compulsive gambling.

The casino in the long run will beat the player

Casinos and bookmakers make their money by having an edge over their customers. For example, when gambling on a roulette wheel or playing blackjack a gambler is actually betting against the house. If they are successful, the house is to pay up. Else they will encounter a loss. A casino is likely to always have at least a 1-2% edge over their clients. Thus from every game played the venue will make at least 1-2 dollars of revenue from every 100 dollars wagered. Even the best people with the most sophisticated gaming skills will lose money in the long run playing roulette or baccarat. The same goes for bookmakers. Here the bookie will earn a profit by taking offering slightly lower odds on the game than they should. For example, the chance of team A winning is 50%. The bookie will offer a 45% bet on the match and keep the remaining 5% as profit. With many bookies, people often have to wager 110 dollars to get 100 dollars of winnings. The bookie takes the 10 dollars as profit.

An addict will not comprehend that and will believe in the possibility of beating the casino or the bookmaker. Gambling addiction is formed when the brain simply does not process this logical and pivotal information. The player finds it hard to stop gambling no matter how much money they have lost. An addict will have the urge to gamble and avoid as many people as possible that tell them the obvious truth. The betting venue will always win in the long run. Gambling addiction is a mental health disorder just like any other. Compulsive gamblers are unable to quit betting followed by seeking addiction treatment despite being told by loved ones and family members that the casino has a business interest in having gamblers lose their money.

Just like with alcoholism, a gambling disorder involves the malfunctioning of the brain. Resultantly, compulsive gamblers simply will not be able to process information correctly. Their life will be ruined by the lack of impulse control that average gamblers possess. They will feel irritated when a loved one will tell them to stay away from betting venues or media websites that advertise gambling. They will be unable to halt gambling no matter how much money they have lost. Gambling addiction will develop, which is similar to bipolar disorder or other mental health problems. According to the American psychiatric association. No matter how much information someone provides to a person with a gambling problem, they will be unable to stop gambling. Gambling addiction is a mental health issue and a gambler may need to seek professional help to solve their gambling problem. Just like with any other mental health issue.

Signs and symptoms of a gambling addiction

A clear sign of gambling addiction is upping the stakes. For example, someone with problem gambling will feel the desire to bet bigger and bigger amounts of money. They will feel the urge to continuously increase their stakes despite being on a losing streak. Problem gambling can begin with the hiding of some small losses from loved ones and grow into a serious gambling problem. Here the bettor will place 10 dollars on red, lose, and keep increasing their stakes up to 100 dollars. Which will still be lost as the person is experiencing a losing streak. Resultantly, more and more money will simply be lost gambling on a roulette wheel, slots, or sports.

Another symptom of a gambler having a gambling problem is the urge to continuously engage in gambling. Thus someone may feel restless, irritable, or anxious when not placing bets on sports or playing other games. In this case, the brain of a person with a gambling addiction is requiring the release of dopamine that comes with betting. As the individual is currently not engaged in the gambling activity, the dopamine is not being released into the neocortex and the person feels anxious. Gambling addiction is just like alcohol or drug addiction. Gambling behavior provides the brain with the much-needed dopamine fix. A health problem arises when the user is not playing card games or is not engaged in other types of gambling behavior. The brain requires additional dopamine and gambling addiction is formed.

Someone with a gambling addiction will simply refuse to acknowledge the maths behind casinos. The fact that when playing against the house, the odds are stacked up against them. A gambler will try to make up for their losses with larger and more frequent bets. Someone with a gambling addiction will continue wagering their money even after a series of losses. They will attempt to “get even” or “beat the odds” in the betting venue. When a loved one points out the mistakes in their betting, they will just ignore them. Getting even with the casino is a risky activity. Everyone should understand this at a rudimentary level. And while there are plenty of online casino sites and betting venues offering massive jackpots with minuscule odds, a problem gambler will always think they will win.

Another clear sign of a gambling problem is going into debt or spending all the money on games. Here the addict will ask for financial assistance from loved ones and friends while being in financial distress. In their life, they will have lost their job, have unpaid bills, or missing tax payments. They will go into debt and ask a family member or a friend to bail them out. While help might be necessary, someone may require more than simply financial assistance. Problems with 24 7 gaming have ruined the lives of many and some have even destroyed their health. Just like alcohol and drugs, compulsive gambling requires serious gambling addiction treatment. Someone diagnosed with this disorder should not be ridiculed or laughed at.

How to address a gambling problem

The first step in solving the problem of gambling addiction is to acknowledge the problem. Asking for help is usually the second step. Should an individual suffer from a mild addiction, joining one of the support groups offered is a good step forward. Just like with alcohol and drugs, problem gaming may require an individual to participate in support groups. These provide a 12 step program that some people have found beneficial to themselves. Support groups will feature other individuals with the same issues, and although lacking professional help, will nevertheless provide useful assistance. Maintaining a support network with persons with a similar past can help a gambler feel like they are not alone in this world. This can greatly alleviate the symptoms of addictive behavior and pull the person towards recovery. Networks such as gamblers anonymous are the usual providers of such help. Gamblers anonymous will feature people with similar life and help alleviate the issues.

Seeking help from a health professional may be necessary in severe cases. The privacy terms offered by many clinics ensure anonymity and a wide plethora of treatment options can be provided. Those in service of the medical profession can offer good help to the addict. Reading useful health information and acknowledging the problem is a good step forward. There are treatment options that are provided online or over the telephone. Here there is a need to call a help service that will guide the individual towards solving their issue. A referral to an addiction specialist may be necessary if the person has other serious issues with their life. Such as substance or alcohol abuse. In this case, an addict can be suffering from multiple concordant issues simultaneously.

There are governmental organizations that address the issue of compulsive gambling. The national council on problem gambling is a state and federal organization that has its rights reserved in the United States. They oversee the product development of various treatment options for gambling addiction. Giving them a call in order to seek medical help may be required in the case of compulsive behavior. Data use is extremely well managed by such associations and their privacy settings remain high. A person with a gambling disorder will not be judged on their actions and will receive the much-needed help that they require. Although the national council on problem gambling may employ certain content measurement audience insights, it will only be done to help other addicts.

What to avoid while on recovery from problem gambling

Should an individual be experiencing a solid recovery from their gambling addiction, they might want to avoid any venues that provide gaming services. Former addicts need to prevent themselves from reading any content that features advertisements or promotions of online games or other gamblers. Content that may lead them to relapse into their addiction. No matter how good the site experience has been with gaming webpages, refraining from accessing them is a solid step forward. Some may contact their ISP to block any gaming or betting materials from being accessed from their computers.

Avoiding people and places where the individual has gambled previously is another solution. Taking a detour and avoiding driving past a casino can be a good idea for some in recovery. Using tracking technologies can help the family maintain control over the actions of a person in recovery. Making sure to call the health professional in case of relapse is necessary for the recovery to be prolonged by as much as possible. A doctor may share some of the data they have accumulated with their patient. This can help the individual feel like they are not alone in this world. Others have run into similar problems with compulsive betting and learned to handle them. When on recovery, a former gambler may need to call their therapist every once in a while. Just to make sure that everything is OK.

Another good solution for individuals on recovery from obsessive gaming is finding sound alternatives. For example, a person may have filled up their time betting on sports because they lacked other activities. Picking a sport to practice and setting up a solid physical routine can lead to successful remission and recovery from a gambling disorder. Spending more time with family and friends can be a good idea. Performing volunteer work can also help an individual maintain a solid recovery. Finding new things to do, like reading books and engaging in intellectual pursuits may help a former patient of an addiction clinic. Traveling and using the money earned to see the world can assist a person. Finding other emotional triggers can help maintain a good life balance. Playing online video games can also be a replacement for internet betting. As long as the activity does not involve wagering cash, it is a good replacement option.

Concluding remarks

Players should beware that gambling can be a fun activity when practiced in moderation. Understanding the risks involved and fully acknowledging the maths behind casino games. Betting on sports can be enjoyable when not performed in a compulsive manner. Gambling is done by many people in this world and not all of them have become addicts. A player should understand that it is highly unlikely that they will hit a jackpot playing slots. Or win big in sports betting. The chances of hitting a jackpot in a casino can be lower than one to a million. Issues with gambling arise when the bettor refuses to accept their losses. They start chasing them believing that they can win. Or when their family and social life begin to take a hit from their bets.

Casinos are interested in making a profit. Thus it is in their interest for a player to lose as much money as possible. Many internet betting portals have their rights reserved in offshore jurisdictions. Where there is little regulatory oversight. Understanding that gaming venues make money from players spending their income is pivotal. Avoiding spending every weekend betting and being honest about the losses is a positive sign. On the other hand, when a person starts to lie about how much they have lost, or when they become distanced from their loved ones is a symptom of an addiction. Gambling issues may often require medical intervention. Or visiting a clinic specializing in it. Understanding and acknowledging the problem and being honest with oneself is a necessary first step.

Another important aspect to understand is that playing for money is generally addictive. The activity itself can lead to a disorder that can ruin an individual’s life. It is in a way similar to other such activities, like going out drinking to joining parties. Some people simply first become accustomed to it and then spend all their money on alcohol. Casinos and bookies understand that. The environment inside a casino is designed to keep the individuals inside for as long as possible. The lights are slightly dimmed and the sounds of the slot machines paying out winnings can often result in people forgetting how much time they have spent. In order to stop gambling recognizing the similarities with alcohol addiction is important. Being able to quit gambling and take control over one’s life is possible for everybody.