How do you help someone with a Gambling Addiction?
For many people gambling is an enjoyable activity without becoming a problem, but over time, some individuals develop a gambling addiction. This can ruin their lives.
Gambling addiction is like other addictions. It is a progressive illness – it can evolve into a huge problem sooner or later. It is also obsessive and compulsive. The urge can be overwhelming. The gambler will do anything – lie, cheat, and con, manipulate, blow up savings – to indulge in gambling.
Usually, there are several signs or symptoms when normal recreational gambling progresses into a problem. The earlier the signs are recognized and problem identified, the better the chances of successful recovery.
Problem gambling is hard to recover from, but possible with professional help.
A gambling compulsion can actually start the first time someone places a bet, and it can gradually progress into an addiction over time. According to experts, how long it takes for someone to develop a problem varies by the individual, though compulsions tend develop more quickly in people who engage in continuous forms of gambling, such as online betting. Some gamblers exhibit symptoms of a compulsion in less than a year, while with some it may progress slower.
How to Diagnose Compulsive Gambling
According to experts, the root cause of gambling addiction is not entirely clear. Several factors may be contributing to the problem, such as hereditary or environmental factors. Diagnosing a gambling addiction involves looking for following signs, which may indicate the individual is out of control:
• Spending beyond one’s resources on gambling
• Gambling adversely affecting personal relationships
• Gambling interfering with one’s work
• An inability to reduce the time spent on gambling
• Increasing spending more time gambling
• Trying to hide gambling activities from friends and family members
• Stealing or cheating to support gambling
• Asking for loans to cover gambling losses or debts
2 Types of Gambling Addicts
There are two types of gamblers: escape gamblers and action gamblers. Both exhibit signs of low self-esteem.
An action gambler is someone who enjoys playing games that involve skill and beating the odds. Such gamblers are usually extroverted, even arrogant. Such gamblers indulge in games such as poker or rummy.
An escape gambler looks at gambling as a way of escaping reality, or a distraction from real life. Such gamblers are usually introverted and appear unhappy or lacking confidence.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are indications that gamblers indulge in their compulsive activities as a means to escape problems or feelings, such as, guilt, helplessness or depression.
So How Can You Get the Gambler to Stop
If you know someone with a gambling problem, the best way to extend help is to encourage the person to seek professional help. One thing to remember is that the individual may be greatly impacted but still may resist getting help. This is due to shame or denial.
Hope Trust rehab in India provides help for all addictions including gambling. A combination of CBT, psychological assessments and interventions, 12 Step work have proven to be highly effective in getting the gambler out of the downward spiral.