Addiction from gambling can be a very critical condition. The fact that it is not as deadly as some of the addictions out there does not mean that it can easily be ignored. Gambling has proven to have destroyed families, reputations, relationships, and the future of those who relied on the person addicted to gambling. If you are one of those gambling addicts out there, you need to read this article.The initial step to full recovery is realizing and acknowledging that you have a problem. Acceptance that you have the problem and that you are ready to start a new life and not have anything to do with gambling is a huge step and you should be commended for your own efforts.There are a few ways to free yourself from the addiction. You can opt to go to a psychiatrist, or GA (Gambling Anonymous), or do hypnosis. These forms of treatment always include the participation of other people since there is no drug that can cure you from this addiction. You also will not be able to cure yourself from this condition alone, with the exception of MP3 hypnosis.The most popular form of treatment these days are clinical hypnotherapy. The reason that this is very popular is because it doesn’t involve a lot of people, like in GA. This is a very effective treatment since it re-wires the brain and can alter the way a person thinks of a specific idea. Another promising idea is the MP3 hypnosis. These MP3s are hypnotic sounds that you can download online for free. This is a novel idea that you can definitely give a try at your own convenience and privacy.You have to keep in mind that in order for any of these forms of treatment to work, you need to have an open mind and want to change willingly. If you are seeking help for someone who is still in denial of being a gambling addict then all of your hard-work will be of no importance. In fact you are just wasting your time. You should know as early as now that treatment can only start when the person addicted will admit the problem and seek for your help.
There is a large majority of people who gamble nowadays, even exceeding more than 1/6th of the total population. A large majority of this would be senior citizens as there is a dearth of opportunities of entertainment for them, most of them are more willing to spend money on gambling rather that spending time on other sources of entertainment.The most popular form of gambling amongst senior citizens is now ‘Bingo’ which apart from being a gambling event is also a good way to socialize. So it is a popular way to gamble as well as to meet people. The numbers of senior people gambling are increasing day by day and is a cause of concern now. Also nowadays the disposable incomes of the senior citizens have considerably improved so that results in them spending more and more time and money in gambling it away.The main reason for the increase in senior gambling is the fact that the economy is in a boom phase and the senior citizens are retiring with very large amounts of money and they have very limited avenues of entertainment avenues thus most of them end up spending all the time gambling in bingo halls or visiting casinos. Senior citizens are also moving into gambling big time as they usually have noting to do nowadays, the world is moving faster and faster and there is noting much that the senior citizens can do except gamble. Society in general has now no time to spend with seniors.Senior gambling now has also become an outlet for them to spend time and money as this is now considered a more rewarding and entertaining option than any other avenue of entertainment now available. It is also now being considered a more pleasurable activity than any other activity around. The reason why senior gambling is more popular now is it being a pleasant way to spend time and be entertained than it being looked up as a revenue stream.Senior gambling as it exists today is more a sign of the increasing social malady that is affecting us as a society, nowadays we have no time to spend with people not in our age group and they are mostly relegated to senior citizen homes or communities and they because of lack of any other stream of entertainment rely on gambling.
The casino is a world onto itself. There are no windows, no clock, but there are flashing lights, and the din of clacking coins and whirring slot machines. Beyond the slots, figures are mesmerized at the crap table. Interest in poker hit new heights with televised Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments. For the majority of gamblers, this is excitement, recreation, a fun diversion or escape from the ordinary and a chance to beat the odds. For others, an estimated three percent of the adult population, it’s an addiction, an endless roller coaster of excitement and despair.A pervasive characteristic of addiction of any kind is that the repeated behaviors have led to a range of negative consequences. This may be putting it mildly in the case of pathological gambling, because someone in the grips of compulsive gambling usually suffers severe blows to finances and relationships before seeking help. His or her life may be in shambles.Often the compulsive gambler’s denial leads him to believe that the next round will save the day. Of course, if the numbers come up right, the cash or credit won is then “invested” again. Gambling addiction is hardly a recent development, but the advent of electronic poker and the break-neck speed of today’s slot machines, as well as Internet gambling have actually sped up the time it takes to gamble for fun and when it slips into problematic, then compulsive behavior.Pathological gambling, like other addictions, is both a biological and a behavioral disease. While we don’t know all the factors leading to gambling addiction, they often include social, family and psychological elements. We do know that the brain neuropathways involving the brain’s mechanisms are affected in an individual’s perception of rewarding experiences. The emotional escape that an individual finds in gambling may become entrenched.We have seen from 15-20 percent of patients who suffer from cross-addictive disorders, such as alcoholism or drug dependency with problem gambling. Some estimates state that 35 percent of those with substance abuse or dependence also have met the diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling at some point in their lives. The SOGS (South Oaks Gambling Screen) is the accepted psychosocial diagnostic tool to identify a gambling problem and its progression.Both substance and gambling addiction are progressive diseases, and may be characterized by inability to control impulses (to use or to gamble) denial, anxiety mood swings and depression and the need for instant gratification. Gambling, like chemical dependency, offers euphoric highs, which are inevitably followed by emotional valleys and usually remorse and shame. A major difference in gambling versus substance addiction is that the alcoholic or drug addict doesn’t believe the substance is the answer to recovery and to his problems, while the compulsive gambler believes the Big Win will be the answer to all his problems.Gambling addictions can also result in symptoms such as blackouts and sleep disorders and hopelessness. Divorce, relationship and work problems, even arrests are some devastating consequences of compulsive gambling. A person’s general health is often neglected, including medical conditions that have been ignored. Gambling addiction is certainly a family disease, creating a dysfunctional family system that revolves around the individual’s addiction. Children may be emotionally stranded as well as physically neglected. Kids are affected long term too, with studies estimating 35 to 50 percent of children of pathological gamblers eventually experiencing gambling problems of their own.It is important that when chemical and gambling addictions co-occur, they are treated at the same time. Like chemical dependency, gambling addiction is addressed in holistic treatment based on the Twelve Step Philosophy. Treatment is individualized and takes into account issues of gender and age.Gambling: is it the money?Some experts, including Dr. Henry Lesieur, St. John’s University, NY, who co-authored the SOGS screening assessment, believe it isn’t really about the money, even though money becomes a looming issue. Seeking action seems to be the major impetus for many. Being in action may be similar to the high of taking cocaine. “Chasing losses” is term use by habitual gamblers to describe attempting to recoup the gambling losses by winning. The action gambler usually likes to gamble on site, at a casino, racetrack, or other “live” venue. Often they are identified by casinos as “high rollers” and received comped rooms and meals. Others, though, don’t gamble for action so much as numb their feelings with compulsive gambling, so it becomes the ultimate, albeit temporary escape.Age and gender as factorsA study by University of Connecticut Health Center psychiatrists published in 2002 evaluated gamblers seeking treatment and found significant differences by age and gender in pathological gamblers. Middle aged (aged 36-55) and older gamblers tended to include more women, at 45-55 percent, than younger gamblers (aged 18-35) at 23 percent. Middle aged and older women didn’t begin gambling regularly until the age of 55, while older men reported a habit of lifelong gambling. Perhaps surprisingly, the women also wagered greatest amounts in the month prior to treatment. Younger gamblers reported most problems with substance abuse, social and legal problems, while older gamblers found more employment-related problems.There is hope for recoveryPathological gamblers, like others who suffer from addiction can and do recover. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, with Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, can change unhealthy behaviors and thoughts, including false beliefs, rationalizations, and self-destructive feelings. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy also helps individuals to meet life on its own terms rather than escape painful emotions with compulsive addictions.A holistic treatment program that addresses the root issues of addiction as well as any co-occurring disorders is an effective approach that treats the whole person. Continuing care may be essential, especially for impulse control, as well as ongoing participation in support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous. The recovering gambler may also need professional financial advise, and family therapy can help to develop a supportive, healthy family structure for sustained recovery.