Alcohol and drug addiction are recognised types of addiction that affect people throughout the world, but a lesser-known type of addiction is behavioural addiction. Behavioural addiction, or process addiction, happens when an individual becomes dependent to a certain activity, without realising the adverse effects of their behaviours. Addictions in any form can have wreck havoc on the addict’s life, and those who care about them, which is why addicts should receive gambling addiction treatment as soon as possible.
Gambling addiction is a form of process addiction that occurs when an individual continues to compulsively gamble, even if it has negative affects on their life. A person who is addicted to gambling is attracted to the high that they experience upon placing a bet, which is comparable to the effects on the brain that comes from using drugs or alcohol.
Every time a gambling addict makes a bet, their brain receives a rush of endorphins and dopamine. After some time, the brain alters the way that it uses those chemicals, which are responsible for feelings of happiness and satisfaction. After repeated rushes of endorphins and dopamine from gambling, the brain is no longer satisfied with normal activities. Therefore, a gambling addict has to make a bet in order to feel normal again. Gambling addicts continue to chase the high even if they experience negative consequences.
There is no exact understanding regarding the cause of gambling addiction, though it is likely to be a mixture of genetic, environmental and biological factors. Even though many people can gamble or play cards without getting addicted, some risk factors that are commonly associated with gambling addiction include:
Gambling addicts usually have mental illness such as personality disorders, substance abuse issues, anxiety or depression and addiction can also be linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or bipolar disorder.
It is more common for younger and middle-aged people to develop compulsive gambling. Gambling during adolescence increases the likelihood of gambling addiction, though gambling addiction can also occur in the older population.
Those with friends or family members who have issues with gambling are more likely to develop it as well.
Some people develop compulsive behaviours due to the side effects of medications known as dopamine agonists, which are commonly used to treat restless leg syndrome and Parkinson’s disease.
Workaholics, highly competitive, restless, bored or impulsive people may have an increased risk of becoming addicted to gambling.
There are numerous signs of gambling addiction such as:
While casual gamblers realise they should stop when they lose, or determine a fixed loss limit, addicts feel obliged to continue gambling to get their money back, which becomes a destructive pattern over time.
Gambling addiction causes financial and social effects. Some financial gambling addiction dangers include bankruptcy, unemployment, check forgery and fraud and forced home sales. Even though the addict is bound to suffer, their loved ones also face numerous challenges when it comes to gambling addiction, such as psychological and emotional abuse. Many couples with a gambling addict spouse end up getting divorced.
The Dawn is proud to be one of only a handful of rehab centres that can handle gambling addiction treatment. Our treatment programme is tailored to suit each client based on the results of our initial qualitative assessment. We use our original and incredibly effective treatment model called The Twin Pillars Approach, which are conducted by our professional team of counsellors who have extensive experience in addiction treatment.
The two pillars focus on rehabilitation and wellness, and involve key components such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and the 12 Step method and other complementary holistic therapies. We combine Western and Eastern treatment methods to make sure that our clients get the right balance between rehabilitation, relaxation and wellness.
Get the help you need for your gambling addiction before it is too late. Contact us today to receive a no obligation assessment and find out how we can help. You can also call us on one of our toll-free numbers listed on our Contact Us page.