Gambling Addiction

Many people enjoy the odd flutter, and can spend years gambling without any problems. However, for some people, frequent gambling or life stresses can turn gambling into something destructive. It can stimulate the brain's reward system (like alcohol can) and lead to addiction.

Your gambling may have progressed overtime, so you might not recognise that you have a 'real' problem. You tell yourself that because you don't gamble every day, you're not an addict. Perhaps you can afford your gambling lifestyle, so don't see it as problematic. You don't recognise how many issues in your life are related to gambling. Or perhaps you do, and you are struggling to give up.

Gambling addiction is serious and can wreak havoc on your life if left untreated. Even if you try to give up without professional help, remission usually isn't permanent so it's crucial that you seek professional help.

Recognising gambling addiction: what are the signs?

Because there are no obvious physical signs or symptoms, gambling addiction is often referred to as a "hidden illness". You have a gambling problem if you:

  • Conceal, or lie about, your gambling
  • Become pre-occupied with gambling
  • Use gambling as a way to escape from feelings or life pressures
  • Continue to raise the stakes and take bigger gambling risks to sustain the thrill
  • Get defensive when others comment on your gambling habits
  • Go into debt, or steal, to gamble
  • Struggle to control your gambling and are compelled to keep playing until you recover your money
  • Feel guilty or remorseful after gambling

Treating gambling addiction: what are the options available?

While treating gambling addiction can be challenging, many people have reclaimed their lives through professional treatment.

Treatment for gambling addiction can vary and depends on the severity of your addiction, any medical conditions you may have, your lifestyle, and your personal circumstances.

There are a range of highly effective approaches, including detox and withdrawal, residential treatment programs, psychotherapy, counselling and support groups, as well as nutrition and lifestyle changes.

If you think you are suffering from gambling addiction, please get in touch to arrange an assessment.