To understand the implications of gambling detox, you first need to understand gambling addiction. An important thing to remember when discussing gambling addiction is that just because you enjoy gambling, it does not automatically mean that you are an addict.
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Just like everyone who has a drink is not an alcoholic and everyone who takes prescription drugs will not become addicted. There are many people around the world who enjoy the glittering lights of the casino, the spin of the roulette wheel or a few hands of poker online and this does not make them all compulsive or pathological gamblers.
The thousands of people who gamble in Las Vegas every year are also not all gambling addicts, most are just tourists enjoying themselves.
Gambling addiction is a recurring and persistent gambling problem that affects a small percentage of the general population and has a severe negative impact on their lives. Gambling addiction, like substance abuse, is a compulsive behaviour that has serious personal, social, legal and financial implications for addict and their family.
In the same way that drug and alcohol addiction destroys lives, pathological gamblers who are addicted to gambling can’t stop even when they know that it is doing irreparable damage to their family and financial wellbeing.
Like drug abusers, problem gamblers will spend vast amounts of money on their habit and will disregard the financial and emotional needs of their loved ones in pursuit of their next gambling fix. Gambling addiction is a disease and it is typically difficult to manage or control without some form of therapy or professional help from an addiction treatment programme or support group.
If your desire to gamble is all-consuming, then you more than likely have a gambling problem or addiction and you need to seek treatment as soon as possible.
The good news for pathological gamblers is that gambling addiction is a recognised condition and just like substance abuse and drug or alcohol addiction, there are treatment options available for compulsive gamblers.
You do not have to suffer in silence or hit rock bottom before you seek treatment and support from a programme like Gamblers Anonymous. Gambling addiction can be treated with behavioural therapy, group therapy and various other forms of gambling addiction treatments.
Potential Signs and Symptoms Of a Gambling Addiction
Gambling addiction is a mental health issue and there are no physical symptoms associated with compulsive gambling but there are a number of behavioural signs that you need to be on the lookout for, including:
– The inability to control, reduce or stop gambling no matter how hard you try.
– Developing a need to gamble with larger and larger amounts of money to reach your desired levels of excitement.
– Being restless, irritable and distracted when you are unable to gamble or when you try to stop gambling.
– Prioritising gambling over all other activities and obligations.
– A preoccupation with gambling and constantly discussing or reliving your latest or greatest gambling experiences.
– An obsession with finding money to continue gambling and spending the rent money or household funds on gambling.
– Chasing your losses and continuing to gamble in an attempt to win back what you have lost.
– Lying to family, friends, co-workers and therapists to hide the severity of your gambling compulsion.
– Sneaking off to gamble and lying about where you are going.
– Feeling distressed, helpless, guilty, anxious or depressed because of your gambling problems.
– Sacrificing personal and professional relationships, career opportunities or your education in order to gamble.
– Experiencing financial hardship and borrowing money from friends and family to fund your gambling addiction or meet other financial obligations, like rent, mortgage payments and household bills.
– Stealing from people or selling your possessions to fund your gambling addiction.
Depending on how many of these behavioural signs you recognise in yourself or a loved one will give you a good indication of how severe a gambling problem you are dealing with. People with a mild gambling problem will have four or five of these symptoms, a moderate gambler may have six or seven and a person suffering from gambling addiction will exhibit nine or more of these symptoms.
Unfortunately, moderate to severe cases of gambling addiction tend to be more common than the mild cases. But even if you only have a mild gambling problem, you should seek professional help or advice because you could easily develop a gambling addiction.
What To Expect During Gambling Detox
Gambling is an addiction and therefor quitting is hard. You need to prepare yourself for both the physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms that may occur during the gambling detox process.
During gambling detox you can expect to suffer from various emotion symptoms such as depression and anxiety.
As with addiction to drugs and alcohol, you may experience physical withdrawal symptoms when you detox from gambling. The severity of these symptoms depends on the length and severity of your gambling addiction. Symptoms typically include sweating, headaches, increase heart rate, nausea, heart palpitations, difficulty breathing and increased irritability or restlessness.
Will I Experience Withdrawal Symptoms During Gambling Detox?
When we typical think of withdrawal symptoms, we commonly associate them with substance abuse from drug or alcohol addiction. In these cases, the withdrawal symptoms are caused by changes in brain activity and your body physically craves the substances that it has become addicted to.
However, as Gambling is a mental health issue, you are more likely to suffer from emotional than physical withdrawal symptoms when you detox from gambling. This however does not mean no physical symptoms will be present.
The most common withdrawal symptoms are depression and anxiety. This could be things such as feelings of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, a loss of interest in healthy activities and hobbies, insomnia and changes in sleep patterns.
During gambling detox, you may also suffer from cravings and an almost uncontrollable desire to gamble. This is because the brain has been conditioned to expect a reward or thrill from gambling and will chase that feeling of excitement even when you know that it is dangerous.
Gambling is an addiction and for most people, it is almost impossible to quit without help but fortunately, there are a number of treatment options and programmes available for gambling addicts. Call Action Rehab today on 0151 268 6992 to discuss your options.