Gambling Addiction Basics

The coming age has brought with it numerous new pathological addictions, one of them being addiction to gambling. Pathological gambling was conferred with the status of a disease by the American Psychiatric Association back in 1980s. Robert L. Custer, M.D., is a pioneer in this field of problem gambling.

People who fall prey to this addiction are usually those who secure an income by means of blackjack, poker or other gambling activities. They are professional players who visit casinos not for fun sake, but to employ their skills and earn.

Based on their way of playing and the driving force behind it, gamblers can be categorized. For example, while professional gamblers are skillful and good in their game a casual gamblers plays merely for recreation.

The symptoms of gambling addiction are usually hard to identify. Since this disease is different from other substance related addictions like drug or alcohol abuse, the indications of this sickness are subtle. The nearest possible way in which the symptoms of this addiction can be stated is through the “Custer three Phase Model”. According tot his model, the gambling addiction can be characterized by three phases: the wining phase, the losing phase and the desperation phase.

In the wining stage, the compulsive gambler is ecstatic and overexcited with this earnings and is unwilling to quit gambling. Therefore, the addict usually increases his intensity of gambling . However, losing being the other half of gambling, his wining streak is short-lived. Nonetheless, recurrent losses do not deter him as he wants to win again and get his money back. Addicted gamblers suffer from financial stress, loss of sleep, and mental fatigue in this phase. They face problems at the family front. The patient also tends to borrow huge amounts or avail some money making schemes. As the gambler continues to face loss on every alternate day, he finds it difficult to stay away from gambling. Compulsive gamblers may resort to any means to raise funds for their obsession. They become desperate, with their debts becoming unmanageable. Loss of jobs, fight with friends and family, committing crimes or suicidal tendencies define this phase.

The question as to why does one gamble, can not be answered in definitive terms. One of the dominant reasons is the mental health of the gambler. For some people gambling serves as a n escape route from their lives. A compulsive gambler plays for kicks. He is just unable to stay away from it. Many researchers also blame the easy accessibility to casinos. The government and its lottery fund is also widely condemned.

Treatment programs and centers exist to treat this disease. Regular therapy and counseling is an effective and a widely used technique to cure this disease. Various support groups have also cropped up, where the addicts share their experiences and strengthen each others desire to quit gambling. Some groups that fund such programs include casinos and state lotteries. Some casinos lay stress on responsible gambling and have taken steps to make the people aware about his addiction.

However the first step, before undertaking nay treatment would be to acknowledge this disease. With very slight symptoms and effects this addiction is difficult to catch and acknowledge. Hence it helps to be aware to act wisely.

Compulsive Gambler’s Guilt Affects Their Gambling Addiction Recovery

When a compulsive gambler is in recovery, feeling guilty is one of the toughest areas to resolve for some people. When a gambler finally makes the conscious decision to stop gambling, reality sets in for the first time in a long time. When they take finally take stock in themselves they see all the damage they caused. Some people stop right before it’s too late and they have a few assets left. Then the compulsive gambler thinks they’re in control and once again go back to gambling. The next time the destruction is twice as worse. The feelings of guilt increase until they finally are willing to face they have a gambling problem.

Through various discussions with compulsive gamblers, I found a majority felt guilty and ashamed about the following:

* Feeling guilty you lied to your family and friends

* Feeling ashamed that your family and friends know you have a problem gambling

* Feeling guilty that friends and family may never trust you again

* Feeling guilty and ashamed knowing how much money you lost that could have been better spent.

* Feeling guilty you didn’t spend enough time with your children.

* Feeling guilty about your self destructive behavior

* Feeling guilty you didn’t go to relatives and friends events (birthdays, graduations etc.)

In time people will forgive the compulsive gambler, but can the compulsive gambler forgive them selves?

Friends and family will come around if the compulsive gambler keeps their word from now on. Once the gambler tells you they stop gambling, they must stick to it. If not they will lose credibility. Trust is very important both for the compulsive gambler and for the family and friends. People have to learn to trust compulsive gamblers all over again. In time they will if the compulsive gambler is willing to stop gambling.

Even though a compulsive gambler made numerous mistakes, they can recover and they can move forward. It’s human nature to learn from your mistakes. No one is going to give the compulsive gambler the death penalty for gambling. A lot of gamblers feel this way when their world comes crumbling down.

Take the time to improve your quality of life and the compulsive gambler’s feelings of guilt will diminish over time.

I’ve Been In And Out Of Addiction Rehab – Now What?

If you have been diagnosed as addicted to alcohol, drugs or gambling and have been admitted to an addiction recovery clinic, you are given utmost support to recover from your addiction. The staffs of the rehab centre, as well as your family and friends, are also there to help you get through the addiction treatment process. Now that you have finished your detoxification and addiction treatment, what’s next?

What lies ahead of you? If you are serious about living life anew, you should totally put your addiction to past. You should avoid getting tempted to your addiction again. Don’t get into drugs, alcohol and gambling. The temptation can be strong but you can surely battle it out. These after-treatment pointers will help you out:

o Be committed to change. Unless you personally commits to recovering from addiction, you will go back to your old habits again and again. So tell yourself, that you are finally quitting and there is no way that you are getting back to it.

o Attend an after-treatment therapy. Some addiction recovery clinics offer after-rehab treatments. This is their way of helping the users face life with bright hopes. Sometimes your own experience can serve as inspiration to others who are trying to recover from their own addictions as well. So spend some time sharing your experience at the rehab centre.

o Treasure your health. You should understand that maintaining a healthy body is a prerequisite of happy living. When you start to become conscious of your health, avoiding your addiction – drug, alcohol and gambling – will come naturally. Also start prioritising healthy eating habits. When you eat healthily, your body functions well and you will feel content and happy. No need for drugs, alcohol or gambling to keep your well being high.

o Continue detoxifying. The best way to detoxify the body from all harmful chemicals is to drink plenty of water. It is also believed that water contributes in calming a person’s mood.

o When the craving for alcohol, drugs or gambling haunts you, divert your attention to something else. Try exercising or going out with friends (no drinking alcohol involved).

o Maintain a strong spiritual life. The spiritual aspect of a person is also taken cared of at most addiction rehab centres.

Staying away from your old addiction is easy if you are serious about it. The support which your family and friends give you plays an important role as well.

Statistics Difficult To Obtain On Gambling Addiction

In a previous article I wrote about a woman who took her life due to her gambling addiction. The family decided to tell people it was due to personal problems she was having adjusting to living in the United States. She had moved there in June of 1998. Everyone accepted the explanation with out commenting. This is very typical behavior which leads to bad statistical information being presented by local governments.

Gambling addiction is a silent killer that strikes innocent people when they least expect it. It only creates a world of misery with a self destructive behavior. Compulsive gamblers are able to beat their addiction if they have the proper resources.

If governments can not get the true statistics they will never be forced to deal with this addiction. They will continue to raise needed taxes from the gambling establishments. What the government never realized or refused to say is that if their state’s business industry began to thrive the taxes levied against them would be equal to or greater then the amount of revenue generated from the gambling establishments and the state’s lotto.

The government looks for the easiest way out verses taking the time to put a good plan into motion. It’s political suicide to face this addiction head on.

I find it ironic that a new governor will take the time to tell its people that over the next four years we are going to boost our economy and reduce unemployment. There are so many promises made that are not kept that people have lost respect for their political leaders. Those who have been negatively affected by gambling know the truth and need to come forward in order to help others who are living similar lives.

I would like to see one political leader step up and admit their state has a gambling problem. It’s easy to see that doing something like this may cause them to lose their next election. Unfortunately there is no quick fix. Another reason political leaders are afraid to come forward is due to the gambling establishments are run by very powerful people.

When you here rumors that the governor is spending the weekend with the chief of one of the local casinos and a week later the casinos request for expansion is approved. You have to start questioning the motives. How is the state benefiting from this expansion? Do political people only march to those who pay the piper? Is this rumor true or false? Does it matter? Do I care? Does anyone care? I have found people do care but are not willing to get involved. This type of thinking becomes evident after you have a Governor of Connecticut jailed, mayors in multiple towns jailed and other minor infractions by political candidates. All do to pure greed.

Once people decide they have had enough and only then can change occur. Once this change happens, recording of gambling addiction statistics information will improve and governments will be forced to face reality. Then you will see change and people will begin to heal.