Gambling addiction often starts off with seemingly harmless fun – a small bet on a sports game; one little trip to the casino on vacation. But for some, it quickly escalates into a full-blown habit that takes over their lives, and can involve anything from online betting to video poker. If your gambling usually goes on for longer than you planned, and you often spend more than you’d like to admit, it’s likely that you have a gambling addiction.
Gambling addiction is a serious condition, and its effects on your brain are similar to those of alcoholism or drug addiction. If you have been compulsively gambling for a long time, your brain’s reward system – which involves the regulation of the very chemicals that cause you to feel good – has adjusted to it. This makes it very difficult to stop.
A gambling disorder can drown you in debt as you end up owing money you may never be able to pay back to loan agencies, credit card companies, family and friends. It destroys your relationships as you continually break the trust of loved ones you’ve lied to. The good news is, it can be overcome – and Reclaim Health has plenty of experience in helping people who were once right where you are do just that.
Gambling addiction is different from casual gambling. If you’re wondering whether or not you are addicted to gambling, ask yourself the following questions:
People who gamble recreationally are usually able to stick to their pre-set limit, and do not continue playing when they lose or gamble with money they don’t have. Gambling addiction, on the other hand, functions on much deeper levels.
If gambling isn’t controlled, it can have devastating impacts on your life, including:
Compulsive overeating is marked by intense feelings of guilt and shame, which can lead to major depression. This is compounded by obesity and poor body image.
While risk factors don’t attest that someone will become a gambling addict, certain people are at higher risk for addiction, such as those with:
Unlike larger, corporate gambling rehabs, we like to keep our operation small. We limit our number of clients at any one time to 25. Our addiction, mental health and trauma therapy groups are typically around eight to ten people. This way, our clients find it easy to feel comfortable, be themselves and get to know each other and their counsellors – making it easier to open up in therapy and speeding up your recovery process. Our low staff-to-client ratio means you will receive plenty of personal attention and support whenever you need it.
In outpatient treatment, during which you live at home while regularly attending therapy sessions at a separate location, you still have access to gambling – and that temptation can be distracting, especially in the challenging initial stages of recovery. In residential treatment, on the other hand, you will be buoyed by the constant presence of supportive addiction professionals and recovery peers; and the people, places and things that drive your addiction will be out of the picture. This allows you to concentrate on your therapy work, and brings a sense of clarity and balance into your life so you can see your addiction for what it is and take the necessary steps to make change.
Reclaim Health Limited is a leading addiction treatment company providing personalised treatments and rehab throughout Uganda, offering a wide range of help and guidance for all types of addictions.
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