For many, a game of poker with friends or a trip to the casino can be a fun way to spend time with loved ones or blow off some steam. Society and the media portray gambling as a fun outing, a fun cash grab, or a friendly sports game. But there is a darker side to gambling that is rarely talked about that comes in the form of compulsive gambling. Just as the occasional beer or glass of wine may be considered safe and fun, gambling addiction lies amid acceptable social norms but can have disastrous effects on relationships, careers, and overall physical and mental health. If you or a loved one is struggling with gambling addiction, you are not alone. Compulsive gamblers affect millions of people, but the issue is rarely brought to light. For those who are ready to get their life back and regain control of life, there is a solution to combating gambling problems. And it all starts with honesty.
Understanding When You Have
a Gambling Problem
A compulsive gambler may not realize they have a problem until a disastrous effect takes hold of their life: perhaps they lose a large sum of money or are caught at the casino by a loved one who is fed up with their habits. Those who can identify a gambling disorder before it gets out of hand can save money and heartache in the long run. Signs of problem gambling often include:
- Spending more and more time gambling
- Being secretive about where they are spending their time or their money
- Becoming withdrawn from things that an individual usually enjoys
- Missing money from bank accounts
- Decreased performance at work
Those who experience these symptoms or notice these signs in a loved one have encountered a good indication that it is time to seek professional help for their addiction.
Understanding Professional Gambling Addiction Treatment
Professional gambling addiction treatment can provide life-changing assistance for those struggling with compulsive gambling. With the help of addiction professionals, those involved in treatment programs can access tools and resources to help individuals understand the root of their addictive tendencies. Professional gambling treatment often includes:
- Access to support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous
- Assessment of mental disorders that may be associated with gambling behavior
- Skill development to use when an individual experiences an urge to gamble
- Therapeutic resources to address mental health concerns
Although not widely talked about, keep in mind that a gambling disorder is a real condition that can be treated with the help of a professional. While reaching out and asking for help can be challenging, the support of a specialist can be transformative.
Understanding the Link Between Mental Health and Problem Gambling
Did you know there is a critical link between mental health and compulsive gambling? Oftentimes, problem gamblers use gambling as an escape from other problems they are facing in their lives. Mental health care services can help an individual learn more about themselves and their addictive tendencies, including:
- Understanding when they are triggered to gamble
- Assessing external forces that may feed the addiction
- Develop positive habits to replace addictive tendencies
When assessing gambling treatment programs or seeking professional help, ensure that mental health care is front and center! Receiving support from a mental health professional can help individuals understand the root of gambling cravings and pave the way for a foundation free from addiction.
Are You Ready to Quit Gambling?
Quitting gambling can be challenging, but with the right support, your compulsive gambling can be a thing of the past. At Enlight Treatment Center, we provide professional addiction treatment for your gambling problem.
If you have additional questions about how to stop gambling or would like to learn more about our programs, reach out to us at any time. We look forward to supporting you on your journey to a happy future free from addiction.