Gambling Addiction can be a very lonely and frustrating condition to live with. If you’ve been struggling to control a gambling problem, you may not know where to turn. You may be feeling incredibly isolated and have a sense that no one understands. At the same time you are probably confused at your inability to stop, and your loved ones may well be too. You may be frequently met with the question ‘why do you do it?’ only to find no real, satisfying answer to offer.
Thankfully, help is at hand.
We work with the most highly-regarded experts in the field of Addiction and employ the most up-to-date evidence-based treatments to tackle compulsive gambling – helping you to get back on track as quickly as possible.
What Is A Pathological Gambler?
Gambling Addiction is more than being excited about gambling. It is a progressive, obsessive condition that worsens over any considerable period of time.
Signs Of A Gambling Addiction
Have a look at our checklist below and see if you can spot any of your behaviours. Signs of gambling addiction can involve:
- Preoccupation with gambling – either with reliving past gambling experiences, planning the next venture, or thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble
- The need to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement
- Gambling to get even and chasing one’s losses
- Gambling as a way of escaping from problems or relieving a troublesome mood
- Repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling, and restlessness or irritability when attempting to cut down or stop gambling
- Lying to family members or others to conceal the extent of your involvement with gambling
- The loss or jeopardy of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of gambling
- Relying on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling
- Committing illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to finance gambling.
What are some of the possible consequences from a Gambling Problem?
Financial complications are frequently the most readily associated consequences when people think of gambling addiction, but in truth they are only one aspect of the problem. Damaged relationships, isolation from friends and family, eroded trust, divorce and broken homes are frequently the result of a long-untreated gambling problem.
Preoccupation with gambling also often leads a compulsive gambler to neglect work, resulting in the loss of a job or damage to career prospects. Fundamentally a person’s self-esteem and coping skills are damaged by a gambling problem too because the gambling becomes a habitual way of responding to moods and life in general. Many compulsive gamblers struggle to imagine a life without gambling but know deep down that life with the habit is becoming impossible.
At this stage, the only real way out is to seek help.
What Treatments Are Available For Gambling Addiction?
As with any other behavioural or mental health problem, seeking help takes courage on the part of the individual. If you’re considering accepting support, reaching out may have taken you a long time, perhaps due to mixed feelings about your problem and a desire to try to ‘handle it yourself.’
An assessment by an informed and friendly professional who is not here to judge you is the first step in getting help. At The London Psychiatry Centre treatment starts with a detailed assessment by Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Christos Kouimtsidis, an award-winning specialist in the treatment of addiction. The assessment will look into factors such as readiness to change, any possible co-occurring mental health issues or substance use behaviours and finally the severity of your gambling problems.
Here at The London Psychiatry Centre, once we have taken the time to get a good sense of the problem, we develop client-tailored treatment plans in close collaboration with our patients and their families, including:
- Cognitive Behaviour therapy and other targeted behavioural interventions in order to contain the behaviour, reduce the associated harm and empower the person to modify his thought processes, attitudes, lifestyle and ways of coping with feelings and life in general
- Where appropriate, medication might be required to treat underlying or related mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and insomnia and we have a wealth of expertise in this area
- Any substance misuse disorders will be monitored and addressed
- Information and support for family members will be central to the treatment
- Any ongoing couples and family therapy or individual counselling and therapy will be offered by the specialist and experienced therapists and counsellors working within the centre, depending on your individual needs.
Here at the London Psychiatry Centre we recognise that every client is unique. We believe that if you are truly going to overcome gambling addiction, a quick-fix, one-size-fits-all solution is not enough. That’s why all our care is tailored specifically to fit you.
A new life free of gambling and its associated problems is possible for you. With the right help, you can be free to enjoy the things of real value in life once more.