Gambling addiction which is often referred to as compulsive or pathological gambling, is defined as the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the harmful negative consequences or desire to stop. Compulsive gambling is a type of impulse-control disorder where the person is unable to control their impulse to gamble, even when they know it is hurting themselves or their loved ones.
The critical sign of gambling addiction is the denial of there being a problem. Admitting you have a problem, or that you may have a problem, is the first step towards recovery. Unfortunately for many, this realisation only surfaces once the individual has hit ‘rock bottom’.
Do you have a gambling problem?
Although many people enjoy gambling occasionally, a compulsive gambler usually progresses from occasional gambling to habitual gambling. As the gambling increases, the gambler begins to take higher risks, both financially and personally. This often leads to serious personal problems, financial collapse and even criminal behaviour to support the addictive habit.
Medically speaking, gambling addiction is indicated by demonstrating five or more of the following symptoms:
- Losing a job, relationship, or educational or career opportunity due to gambling
- Spending a lot of time thinking about gambling, such as past experiences or ways to get more money with which to gamble
- Having made many unsuccessful attempts to cut back or quit gambling
- Needing to gamble with progressively larger amounts of money to feel excitement
- Gambling with larger amounts of money to try to recover previous losses
- Lying about the amount of time or money spent gambling
- Gambling to escape problems or feelings of sadness or anxiety
- Committing crimes to get money to gamble
- Needing to borrow money to get by due to gambling losses
- Feeling restless or irritable when trying to cut back or quit gambling
What causes gambling addiction?
Pathological gambling shares similar characteristics with disorders such as alcoholism and substance addiction. One of the main factors that contribute towards gambling addiction is the feeling of financial inadequacy that can only be solved by gambling what little they have in an attempt to acquire more money. This usually results in a downward spiral where the gambler feels they have to win back what they have lost through continued gambling.
Other factors that may contribute to a gambling addiction includes the desire to experience the emotional thrills and highs associated with taking huge risks that might occasionally pay off, the exciting atmosphere of the mainstream gambling scene and the social status associated with being a successful gambler.
Available treatments at Riverview
Our treatments focus on the holistic and integrative, incorporating the best of traditional and modern approaches. Our 12-step programme has been adapted to incorporate not only alcohol abuse, but also addiction, eating disorders, depression and stress.
We offer individual, as well as group therapy sessions and activities that focus on equipping our clients with life skills that are vital to a sustained recovery.
How to enrol in the programme
If you wish to contact Riverview Manor regarding an inquiry or wish to enrol in our programme you can contact us on 033 710 1911, or you can fill in your details here so that our team can contact you.