Although in theory gambling is supposed to be a form of entertainment, the reality is that some players at end up struggling with gambling addiction during their playing "career". Gambling addiction is an extremely serious mental disease in which the "victim" has absolutely no control over their betting habits and can seriously damage their life and the relationships within it. Although our website provides information on online gambling, we are also aware that some of our visitors may be struggling with gambling addiction. For this reason, we have created this page on responsible gambling in order to provide you with information on gambling addiction in general as well as where you can seek addiction help.
As mentioned in the introduction, gambling addiction (compulsive gambling) is a mental illness that involves issues with impulse control disorder. Compulsive gamblers absolutely cannot stop playing and will go to great lengths to sustain their habit including lying, stealing and pretty much anything to keep the feeling alive. The reason that gambling addiction is so serious in comparison to other physical addictions is that it is extremely easy to hide. Unlike other addictions such as drugs where the addict is visibly troubled, gambling addicts can go undetected for years and usually are not exposed until they face financial ruin or worse.
Because of the severity of this addiction, it is important that you recognize the signs and symptoms in case you think you are developing a gambling problem. Below is a brief overview of some of the things associated with gambling addicts. If you are developing one or more of these tendencies, it is very likely that you are facing this addiction and we advise that you seek counselling immediately to help.
Preoccupation Gambling - This is one of the early warning signs of the problem where the person becomes increasingly fixated on gambling. This can include only thinking about going to the casino and getting the rush experienced by wagering.
Breaking Limits - Compulsive gamblers almost always have no control when it comes to limiting and budgeting the amount of money that they gamble. If you have gone to the casino with a budget in mind and consistently break the budget and spend more, you might want to think about seeking some help on addiction.
Escape - One of the most common triggers (causes) of gambling addiction is escape. While gambling is meant to entertain, the addict uses it as an escape from their everyday life and a way to get away from stress or other life related issues.
Chasing Losses - Another common trait amongst problem gamblers which is when the person continues to wager with the hopes of winning back the money lost. This "if I can only get it back" mentality is one of the biggest signs that you have or are developing a gambling addiction since your regular logic is slipping out the door.
Lying - Lying to family, spouses and friends is unfortunately another large part of the addiction, since gamblers are often ashamed of their actions and will go to great lengths to hide what they have done and how much money they have spent from their loved ones. This is perhaps one of the most damaging parts of the addiction and addicts sometimes take years to re-gain trust from family & friends.
Alienation - The last major component of gambling addiction, alienation is when the person isolates themselves from everyone and is totally consumed by gambling.
Treatment for gambling addiction can range from electro therapy shock to individual and group counselling sessions in your local city. Below we have provided a series of links to websites that provide much more detailed information on gambling addiction as well as resources on where to get around the world for this addiction.
National Counsel on Gambling Addiction - Large organization dedicated to problem gamblers, offers a 24 hour help line in the United States completely free off charge.
Gamblers Anonymous - The largest non-profit group based gambling addiction counselling, held throughout the world and based on a 12 step recovery model.
Center for Addiction & Mental Health - Offers a complete gambling recovery program to persons residing in Canada, including personal and group counselling sessions.
Gam Care - Offers a discussion forum as well as personal counselling and a toll free number for gambling addicts, serves primarily persons living within the UK.