A gambling addiction is a dangerous part of the casino world that often does not receive the attention that it ought to receive, and is often depicted as a hush-hush subject. It is vitally important that you, as a player, can recognise addictive behaviour in yourself and others and seek the necessary assistance and guidance as soon as possible, if you think you are developing a problem. Centres such as the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health exist all over the world, and they are there to help you, but there are many things that you can also do for yourself and others.
Online and mobile casinos all promote responsible gambling, and feature self-exclusion options and links to sites and associations that can help you out.
Recognising Gambling Addiction
Gambling addictions often develop without the one afflicted even realising it, but they can have detrimental effects on the player’s relationships, work, and finances.
There are a few differences between an actual gambling addiction and mere problem gambling. A gambling addiction is an actual pathological disorder, where those affected cannot control their impulse to gamble, regardless of the consequences. Problem gambling is a lesser extreme of this, where gambling has a negative effect on life but is not necessarily completely out of control.
Recognising a gambling addiction can be difficult as there are no external signs or symptoms. In general, gambling can be seen as a problem if it creates problems in life, regardless what form these problems take. Gambling addicts do not necessarily have to gamble every day, but they cannot control their behaviour and cannot take responsibility for their gambling actions. Addicts also often lie about their gambling activity, cannot walk away if they have run out of money, and are faced with concern from family and friends.
Centres especially designed for gambling addictions can help those in need to find out if they are faced with a gambling addiction and advise on what steps to take, but there are certain self-help steps that any addict wanting to recover can take as well.
Seeking Gambling Assistance
Those that struggle with a gambling problem do not necessarily need to seek professional help, though seeking the advice and guidance from those that have been there and know ways of dealing can be incredibly helpful.
Recognising that one has a gambling addiction is often the very first step to recovery. From there, the person afflicted can take numerous steps on the road to recovery, such as establishing a network of friends and family or turning to an established support group to help deal with the addictions.
A gambling addiction is often an indication of deeper underlying issues, and in such a case the addict would be well-off turning to a centre for gambling addiction or recognised therapists to help them come to terms with the underlying issues.
The Value of Support
Since the online world has made gambling tremendously easy, it is important for recovering addicts to completely remove themselves from this world and cut off all possible relapse networks. A strong support network can be important here to help keep the recovering addict accountable, take control of finances so that the recovering addict does not have access to any funds, and in general help the recovering addict make healthier decisions.
Even if recovering addicts have a valuable support network and are joining support groups, the craving for gambling can often be hard to overcome.
If this is the case, the best thing for recovering addicts to do is to find a noteworthy distraction. Sports or arts are great ways to help addicts find a new and healthier way of relieving stress, while engaging in the community, projects, or learning new skills are instrumental in helping a recovering addict take control of life again and build a new and brighter future.
By taking control of their futures, any recovering addict can make their lives better.