Everyone can appreciate that feeling you get when you’ve hit the jackpot! In life, in relationships, in your career, and more commonly in a financial sense. But, for some that feeling or “high” you get from a financial win can become severely addictive. A dopamine and adrenaline kick with a harsh repercussion when not satisfied. Help with gambling addiction is possible and available for you or a loved one, no matter the circumstances. Often severe financial struggle and/or debt is the last straw before help and support is sought for gambling addiction. However, the earlier in addressing this serious condition, the better the outcome may be for the individuals involved. Ignored addiction with gambling can ruin a person’s life, finances, relationships, and for a family- that means everyone involved. There is no magic pill or spell to break a person free from addictive gambling behavior, but there is hope with successful treatment centers such as Maui Recovery.
Troubling Signs That Can Be Seen With Gambling Addiction
Gambling addiction, also called compulsive gambling, can be defined as the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on the individual’s life. Actions taken where an individual is willing to risk something they actually have in value in the hopes of getting something of even greater value.The urge to gamble for those who experience gambling addiction can seem so severe that they lose all grasp of their own life. Unacknowledged and treated gambling addiction can affect the individuals health, relationships, work, and financial stress to the point of destruction. The most common and troubling signs of gambling addiction or compulsive gambling are:
- A focus on gambling rather than family, relationships, work, or daily activities.
- Feeling anxious or stressed about gambling every day.
- Using gambling as a coping mechanism for stress and/or difficult feelings.
- Spending more money and personal resources on gambling than can be afforded.
- Denial and/or lying about the amount of time and resources used in gambling.
Anyone experiencing the following troubling signs should know that help with gambling addiction is possible and available. Problem gambling is an addiction, with just as harmful effects as substance abuse and depression. Although there is no single reason why addictions develop in individuals, there are many varying factors that can increase the risk of developing a gambling problem. Factors can vary between environment, family, financial stress, genetics, and even medications. Even an individual’s personality can play a role; traits such as being competitive, impulsive, or restless can increase the risk of having gambling addiction. More closely here are some examples of factors that can trigger compulsive gambling:
- Being introduced to gambling at an early age.
- Watching a close relative, especially a parent, with a gambling problem at any age.
- Pressure from friends to partake in gambling.
- Personality traits such as being compulsive, restless, competitive, or easily bored.
- Medications that treat Parkinson’s or restless leg syndrome, which can cause the rare side effect of compulsive behavior.
Part of the prevention in future generations of gambling addiction is addressing problems that are present within us now. If you think you are experiencing gambling addiction, take the steps to address healing now-today! This is especially important if you have children, so they can watch the beautiful healing process for themselves as an example of what is possible. In the same right, if you are experiencing a loved one entangled in the grasps of compulsive gambling- reach out! Help with gambling addiction is possible and available today, with the hopes of a better tomorrow. Maui Recovery for example, provides experienced support and staff for a whole- self and core healing treatment plan within a facility located in the heart of paradise.
Help With Gambling Addiction Is Possible And Available Through Treatment
A financial crisis is oftentimes what brings an addicted individual to address their compulsive gambling. Gambling not only affects a person’s mental health, but their entire life as well. Thankfully, help with gambling addiction is possible and available through treatment. Compulsive gambling can be treated in the same way as other addictions, and most often with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). However, there are many other forms of tried and successful treatments available too:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): It is very common for individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction to experience destructive and negative thinking or maladaptive thought patterns. Since our cognition affects our wellbeing, changing harmful thought patterns can help clients recognize their ability to practice alternative ways of thinking. For those with a gambling problem for example, these individuals tend to think differently about betting than other people. They may believe they are more likely to win than anyone else, that certain rituals can bring good luck, and that they can win back any losses by gambling more. CBT will look at these beliefs around betting as well as how you feel and behave when you want to gamble.While also regulating distressing emotions and harmful behavior.
- Motivational Interviewing (MI): A collaborative, therapeutic conversation between licensed clinicians and clients that addresses the common problem of ambivalence for change. Rather than imposing or forcing changes, MI allows substance abuse treatment centers to “meet the client where the client is” and help them move toward their goals by drawing out and building their readiness to change.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): This type of therapy teaches clients how to regulate their emotions to reduce the self-destructive behaviors that derive from extreme, intense emotions. Primarily a skill-building approach, DBT focuses on the development of four key skill sets; Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, Mindfulness (to live in the moment and fully experience emotions), Interpersonal Effectiveness.
- Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT): Similar to CBT, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy helps clients identify, challenge, and replace their destructive thoughts and convictions with healthier, adaptive thoughts. Empirical studies demonstrate that this process incites emotional well-being and goal achievement.
- Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR): A sequential method that teaches the individual who is struggling with racing and impulsive thoughts on how to be in the “here and now”. By focusing on the breath or on an object in the room, the client slowly becomes able to collapse their awareness into the present moment.
- Recovery-Oriented Challenge Therapy: Sometimes also called Adventure Therapy or Outdoor Behavioral Health (OBH), this evidence-based technique is centered on an activity or “adventure” in which a clinical professional can actively engage with clients. Examples of Recovery-Orientated Challenge Therapy include: group challenges, outdoor activities, Nature Immersion, ropes courses, Equine Therapy, games, or other skill-building healing activities.
- Experiential Therapies/Psychodrama: Many clients, especially younger clients, trapped in addictive and dysfunctional lifestyles, often benefit greatly from action-based and potentially transformative experiences. In psychodrama, the client can relive scenes from earlier in their lives that may have been turning points or “stuck” points in their addictive slide. The client is able to relive, and through the help of the clinician, change the toxic scene into one of breakthrough and empowerment.
Whichever treatments a struggling individual chooses in healing from gambling addiction, there is no better time to do so than Now. With 15 years of treating and healing, the Maui Recovery family has learned to combine the best with the best. The combination of evidence-based treatments with powerful and transformative holistic and experimental therapies are used to treat the whole client. At Maui Recovery, our incredible staff members and family aim to help clients cope and realize the roots of their gambling addiction. By focusing on the sources and triggers of addiction, we are able to teach individuals that their condition does not define their life or who they are. We provide the perfect place for support, and take pride in sharing that help with gambling addiction is possible and available for everyone!