Gambling Addictions and Compulsive Gambling
At BettingExpert, we want to ensure that your online betting experience is exactly what its intended to be, an enjoyable, engaging and profitable experience.
To ensure that gambling is fun and enjoyable, we wanted to put forth an effort to define harmful gambling addictions and how to retrieve help for you or a friend if you suspect a compulsive gambling disorder.
Definition of Compulsive Gambling
Gambling addictions, also known as compulsive gambling, are characterized as an impulse-control disorder. Those diagnosed with gambling addictions cannot refrain from gambling, regardless of the financial consequences and strains on their relationships. Their behavior results from the impulse to gamble, without taking into consideration the negative impacts of their behavior. The intoxication of a "big win" produces a high which the gambler tries to obtain again. Compulsive gamblers also fall victim to the "gambler's fallacy" in which they believe they can predict the future chance events based on past events, fueling their compulsion and false-belief in future successes with gambling.
Gambling addictions can be sub-typed into two distinct categories. Type one is classified as "Action Gamblers." Action Gamblers are drawn to compulsive gambling because of the "risk" involved, and usually prefer gambling around others and prefer games of skill. The second type of compulsive gambling is an "Escape Gambler." These gamblers are compelled to gamble in order to escape some sort of pain, where they can numb their worries, loneliness and pain.
Signs of a Gambling Addiction
Like most mental illnesses, sure signs of gambling addictions appear when one's gambling behaviors begin to interfere with their ordinary day to day life and relationships. Since compulsive gambling is not a physical illness, the symptoms of gambling addictions are sometimes more difficult to detect. Furthermore, like most illnesses, the gambler tries to conceal their behavior and keep their impulses secretive, in order to alleviate suspicions and concerns. However, some signs of compulsive gambling problems include: lack of money without income change, overdue bills, secrecy over finances, stealing, borrowing or selling things for extra dispensable cash, secrecy over time spent gambling, neglecting family and personal obligations, using gambling to celebrate, as well as deal with stress.
Addicted gamblers tend to go through a four phase process of addiction. Phase I is the "Winning Phase" where the gambler experiences "big win" which causes the gambler to attribute his/her win to their own personal talent, and strive to continue their success. Phase II is the "Losing Phase" where they, despite losing large sums, become more concerned with gambling and begin to ignore family, friends, work and the realization that they are losing. Phase III is the "Desperation Phase" where they lose all control over their gambling habits. Continually losing money, and hoping to win it back, causes them to realize their problem, but are unable to stop. Often times, their neglect of reality causes job loss, divorce, ruined relationships and financial and criminal troubles. Phase IV is the "Hopeless Phase" where the gambler has lost everything, even hope. They often resort to drugs or alcohol to deal with their losses and some even go as far as suicide or suicidal attempts.
Treatment and Getting Help
There are several methods to help an individual deal with their gambling addiction. All treatments however require the individual to first admit that they do in fact have a problem. Methods such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and participation in recovery programs are the first steps to getting treatment and help compulsive gamblers rebuild their personal lives, finances and stability. For more information on treatment programs, as well as hotlines, diagnoses, and self-help programs, please see the following websites.
- Gamblers Anonymous
- Compulsive Gambling Help
- The National Council on Problem Gambling
- Gamblers and their Finances
Another suggestion to help treat compulsive gambling problems is to install programs which won't allow gambling software to be run on your computers. This removes the temptation to participate in online gambling and removes a significant contributor to secretive gambling. We recommend the software: called Gamblock
Remember to enjoy and excitement that gambling incites and make positive choices in your gambling behavior.
May you have happy, safe and enjoyable gambling experiences.
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