Here Are Some Causes of a Gambling Addiction

What are some of the causes of a gambling addiction? As a former gambler and mental health counselor, I have done a lot of research on why people develop a gambling problem. What I have found is that there is more than one cause of gambling addiction and that although it is important to know the cause, the solution is much more important.

Here are some of the many causes of gambling addiction:

o Gambling is exciting while the gambler is in action. The adrenaline high feels good, and it is quite easy to become addicted to these “feel good” chemicals in our brain.
o Gambling compulsively may fill a void for many people with a gambling problem. This void could be in many areas of one’s life. Poor social life, loneliness, job dissatisfaction, empty-nest syndrome, boredom, and lack of purpose can all contribute to a gambling addiction.
o A big win at the casino is the worst possible event for anyone with a propensity for addiction. The adrenaline high of a huge jackpot can fuel future addiction like jet fuel in a plane. Most, if not all people give back the winnings from their jackpot, plus much more money as well.
o Escape from emotional pain and psychological distress can also fuel a gambling disorder. This is especially true for “escape gamblers” who mostly play slot machines, lottery, or partake in online internet gambling.
o For “action gamblers”, the craving for action and feeling very important to others can fuel a gambling addiction. Action gamblers are mostly male and are usually sports betters, poker players, and racetrack gamblers.
o The thrill of “easy money” can fuel a gambling addiction, especially if the gambling addict has a long string of wins at the beginning of his or her gambling career.
o People with anxiety and/or depression have show a strong propensity for gambling problem as well as other addictions.
o People with first degree relatives with a gambling addiction have a stronger propensity to develop this addiction themselves.

These are just some of the general causes of a gambling problem, however, there are many more as well. In addition, each unique individual will have different reasons for having a problem with gambling, and no two situations are the same.

The most important thing, however, is that once some of the causes of a gambling problem are established, that the individual seeks immediate help for his or her problem.

The solutions, which include abstinence from gambling, professional help, and support groups, self-care, and lifestyle changes are most important in reclaiming ones’ life from a gambling addiction.

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Self Help Tips For Treating Gambling Addiction

Addiction in any form is dreadful and addiction of gambling is an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Gambling occasionally can be enjoyable, but prolonged interest in it, can turn into an obsession, compelling the gambler to gamble continuously, irrespective of whether he wins. Gambling addiction takes a toll on the addict’s finances and affects him socially, psychologically and physically. It devastates the gambler’s life and has serious consequences on family and friends.

How does gambling addiction start

People generally resort to gambling for various reasons, like curiosity, trying once and winning and getting hooked, but mostly gambling addiction is the escape route from personal relationship problems or any past or current failure in life. The simplest way someone gets addicted is to try once or twice, and with beginner’s luck, he wins, but after that he starts losing. In an effort to gain back the entire money, the gambler goes on playing, till he is left with nothing. Addicts do not hesitate to beg, borrow or steal money to continue their routine of gambling.

This situation must be tackled before it moves beyond control, but the most difficult task is to locate and identify an addict. An addict gambler is very smart to hide his characteristic traits. However, one symptom can give them away – they always try to sneak around, lie about their whereabouts and ask people to lend money.

Self-help for treating gambling addiction – What are the options?

The first step in curing gambling addiction is to confess in the presence of someone else. The presence of someone close would help the addict remain motivated to his efforts. This is the most difficult step as one who can admit that he is an addict, is half way through the curing process because most addicts shy away due to the fear of social rejection.

After the admission, the addict must avoid visiting the places where he gambles, like casinos and clubs. If he is addicted to online gambling then he must remove all sites from the computer. The next step is to engage in some fruitful activity that distracts the addict from gambling, like taking a walk, or visiting a gym.

Following natural therapies are better and safer than trying some kind of medicine, because all medicines have side effects and runs the risk of creating drug dependency. Gambling addicts can also join gambling anonymous support forums, where they can see others like them, trying to get rid of this dangerous habit.

Another step towards a better life can be self-hypnosis. An addict can either get a hypnotist / hypnotherapist, or buy a CD of self-hypnosis, or use a mix of the two methods. A hypnotist will not only hypnotize, but listen to his problems and identify the reasons for gambling and state a solution. However, if this option is not possible to avail for someone, self – hypnosis CDs is a good option too. Remember, getting rid of gambling addiction is an ongoing battle that an addict has to continue fighting unless chances of relapses end completely.

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Gambling Addiction is a Waste of Money

In medical terms gambling addiction is termed as ludomania. This implies a person needs to gamble despite knowing the harmful consequences. Gambling addiction is a behavior which can affect most of the major aspects of life, for example it can affect you psychologically, physically and hamper your social life. Sometimes gambling addiction is referred as a hidden illness as you cannot see any physical symptoms. According to the American Psychological Association, addictive gambling is a mental health disorder and those affected have no control over it. Gambling addiction is a disease which is chronic and progressive. This means a person gets more and more addicted towards it every time he or she gets the opportunity to gamble. According to a survey about 4 percent of the American population has a gambling addiction.

According to Dr. Richard Rosenthal there are three criteria for a person to be listed down as a pathological gambler or a person affect with gambling addiction. An intolerable feeling or state, which is a person feeling helpless for no reason. Depression can be a reason; a person might get depressed due to problems at work place, problems with family, etc. Another criterion is when a person develops a high capacity for self-deception. When a gambler falls under these criteria, he is affected with gambling addiction. Gambling addiction is however classified into two types, action gambling and escape gambling.

Action gambling means a person is addicted to take risks, people falling under this category want to play with other gamblers, and they want to prove themselves as a winner in front of everyone. They want to identify themselves and create an image, they will continue gambling until and unless they reach the position. Escape gambling is where a person gambles because of the reason that they are affected with some personal matters. The person is having problems with emotional aspects in life or the person is not comfortable with life. People having escape gambling addiction usually play alone or they like to sit alone, they are rather found playing black jack or at slot machines. Escape gamblers just avoid human contact. It is found that men are more addicted towards action gambling and women are addicted towards escape gambling. It is also found that young people tend to have gambling addiction rather than adults. Teens are generally 3 times more likely to fall under gambling addiction. This is completely reversed in reference to other addictions where problems among adults are more prevalent than children.

Gambling addiction is a mental disorder having no impulse in controlling it but it is diagnosable and treatable. A very effective way to get treated is by the help of hypnosis. Hypnosis has a very high rate of success in healing people from gambling addiction. You can download mp3 versions available on the Internet. As soon as you are over with all the sessions of hypnosis you will no more be losing money at the casinos. You will be a winner and will set an example in front of everyone on how fast and easily you could get rid of gambling addiction.

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Gambling Addiction and Its Behavioral Effects

Gambling addiction is a serious mental health disorder, which can be identified in two ways: a person either a) continuously bet on things using money or objects that hold value even though negative consequences arise as a result, or, b) they cannot stop gambling even if they desired to. People suffering from gambling addiction often display a strong urge to bet on a wide-range of gambling mediums-from sports games to poker, to choosing lottery numbers and throwing dice. And although friends and family members of compulsive gamblers don’t see the symptoms physically, like they often do with alcoholics or drug abusers, the consequences gambling addiction has serious implications on their lives as well as the lives of their friends and families. Not realizing its severity or taking it too lightly can be devastating for the addicted gambler in the long run. Gamblers can reach a point of literally losing everything, from cars, to homes, to businesses, and even respect from those they care about.

It’s well-known that Florida is notorious for providing “the hotspot” for gamblers all over the world, as well as its residents. But how many gamblers actually endure financial problems? A recent survey by the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling shed light on card playing, reporting that 70% of these people had trouble paying their bills. But here’s the worst part, which is known to be a side-effect of excessive gambling–1 in 3 of these card players admitted to having participated in illicit activities in order to finance their gambling. Playing cards isn’t as harmless as we thought; criminal activity is still a cause for concern.

Gambling addicts are not always obvious about their situation; sometimes they don’t even realize it themselves. They don’t dwell on what has been lost as a result of their destructive activities and behaviors. Instead, compulsive gamblers only focus on the gains, or the supposed investment aspect of the games they play. And unlike drug or alcohol addiction, a person addicted to gambling will not display symptoms such as heavy fatigue, sickness, loss of energy or dizziness; instead, other factors are apparent, such as falling into deep financial trouble, losing quality time with the ones they love, and heightening the chances of entering into drug or alcohol addiction.

It’s difficult to establish who has a gambling problem and who doesn’t. Where is the threshold between social gamblers, and abusive gamblers? Are there any red flags? The answer is yes. Pathological gamblers often display one or more of the following signs: negligent of family get-togethers, acts on criminal behavior in order to acquire more stuff to bet on, would rather gamble then hang out with friends, talk excessively about gambling and winning money, use drugs or alcohol to distract them from wanting to gamble more, become irritated when not gambling, neglect vital responsibilities for gambling time, and lying to family and friends about going out gambling. A combination of these signs should be a red flag when identifying a compulsive gambler. But remember, none of these signs mention the amount of times a person gambles in a period of time. It’s not about “quantity.” A person can gamble every day and it may not affect his life. Also, gambling addiction isn’t OK if you’re wealthy; rich gamblers can still have issues like neglecting their loved ones and other vital responsibilities.

Florida is well-known for its casinos, entertainment arenas and cruise ship gambling. But environmental factors such as these may cause people to be more susceptible to the development of gambling addiction. Gambling addiction isn’t a problem that stands alone-it may lead to criminal behavior, psychological distress and depression, and fuel other more dangerous addictions. As stated earlier, a person may fall into drug or alcohol addiction in order to supplement or replace their gambling behavior. The combination of multiple addictions can be devastating and more difficult to treat; it would be like tangling a web of loose strings and trying to unravel them all at once.

Addiction specialists and counselors use a variety of methods in treating gambling addiction effectively, including: helping the addict understand what drives him or her to gamble, replacing their betting habits with more productive activities, understanding how it affects the people they care about, and finally, strengthening one’s will to live a more productive lifestyle. If you notice warning signs that you or your loved one is suffering from gambling addiction, it is crucial to intervene and find treatment before it is too late. Doctors treat gambling addiction as a serious brain disease, and people suffering from it are also prone to drug addiction. The importance of acquiring immediate treatment can be the difference between losing everything, and saving someone’s life.

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You Can Stop Your Compulsive Gambling Addiction

It’s New Years Day January 1, 2006 and another year has come and gone. People from all over the world celebrated on New Years Eve. As the clock approached midnight last minute resolutions were made for the upcoming year. The most common resolutions are to lose weight and or stop smoking. This year’s newest resolution for quite a few people is to no longer gamble in 2006. With all the creative advertising, gambling shows on cable networks and the significant growth of Casinos people from all walks of life have been exposed. Through this exposure quite a few have developed a compulsive gambling addiction.

Now that people have made their resolutions, how do they achieve success? When it comes to gambling addiction it’s time to create a plan in order to achieve success. This can be easy if you take the time to find the appropriate program that will give you the support and guidance.

As you set your plan in place your subconscious mind begins to play tricks with you. The following are some thoughts that stop gamblers from beating their addiction:

1) Do I really want to stop my gambling addiction?

2) I really didn’t lose much money last year so I really don’t have to stop gambling

3) I want to stop gambling but I don’t know how.

4) I have the day off maybe I should gamble just one more time then stop.

5) What am I going to do for fun without gambling?

6) Okay I am ready to stop gambling but my friends are going to the Casino tonight. Maybe I can go just one more time.

7) I have so many bills due. How am I going to pay for them if I don’t gamble?

8) Maybe I will stop gambling when my wife stops gambling.

9) Do I really have a problem gambling?

10) I don’t have a problem gambling.

It’s time to face reality and deal with your compulsive gambling addiction head on. You can stop gambling. There are many helpful stop gambling addiction websites that will give you the resources and the tools to succeed. There is no reason you can not stop your gambling addiction. Taking the time to face what’s really going on with your life and forming a plan of action will help you to succeed in your quest to stop your gambling addiction.

There are so many people who have overcome their gambling addiction. They are also in disbelief because they never thought they could really stop. I am sure a majority of compulsive gamblers feel this way. The one thing they all have in common is their new positive outlook on life. Their self destructive behavior is gone. If you are a compulsive gambler or you know someone who has a compulsive gambling addiction there is help and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

There are plenty of good stop gambling addiction websites that can put you in the right direction. Please always feel free to email me.

Mr. Howard Keith has an extensive background in dealing with compulsive gamblers, relatives and friends of gamblers and teenage gamblers. Mr. Keith believes there are many alternatives to aid in the recovery of a gambling addiction verses a twelve step program. A large percentage of his emails were from compulsive gamblers looking for an alternative to Gamblers Anonymous and twelve step programs.

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