How to beat an online gambling addiction

Last year, a young accountant from London plunged from a skyscraper to his death. According to reliable sources, the 23-year old could not take any more shame from his online gambling addiction. Joshua Jones had accumulated loans and debts to satisfy his addiction. You have also come across similar cases to that of Joshua with a gambling addiction. Online addiction can be catastrophic in the end if the addict does not get the necessary help.


Online addiction is just like substance abuse as it has the same grave repercussions. Unfortunately, online addiction does not have any immediate physical signs. It takes over the life of the addicted compromising their career, relationships, education and career lives. If you are an addict, you will experience withdrawal symptoms just like a drug addict. You will have cravings, relapses, mood modification and loss of control.

online gambling addiction

Imaging studies have shown that online addiction affects the part of the brain that deals with motivation and the emotional aspects of behavior. Gambling eventually becomes the most important thing in your life and will easily neglect other things. If not gambling, the addicts are usually thinking about the next time they will be gambling. Compulsive gamblers are incapable of controlling the urge to gamble. It does not matter whether your marriage is in shambles, broke or depressed. You will still gamble.

gambling addiction signs
It is not my day. Depressed senior man in shirt and suspenders leaning his head at the poker table with money and gambling chips laying all around him. Source: Shutterstock

But you can also have an online gambling problem without showing any signs of depression or compulsive gambling. Problem gambling is any behavior associated with gambling. You spend cash continually gambling and chasing losses trying to recover what you lost initially.


Some of the questions that you may have asked yourself are which between online gambling and casino is more dangerous. Well, online gaming is more harmful than a casino because of several reasons. First, if you go to a casino three or four days, a friend or relative is sure to notice and may intervene. Online gambling is convenient. You can comfortably do it in the comfort of your home or office. The opportunity offered by the online platform to gamble privately makes it hard for others to notice what you are doing. Secondly, part of the treatment involves avoiding playing. You can avoid casinos, bars and other places where gambling is available but cannot do the same with the online casino. It is hard to avoid.


Gambling has become more prevalent especially among the middle-class individuals. The high earner now has access to services and products that they may not have tried in public. Whether you are at home, traveling, or in the office, all you need is internet access to gamble. This capability is what makes it so dangerous. However, when you realize you have a problem, you can get help for Online Gambling Addiction.


Signs of an Online Gambling Addiction




You cannot easily pick out a gambler and so the term “hidden illness” best fits the habit. There are no apparent signs like those that you see with drug and alcohol abusers. However, you will know if you have a gambling problem if you:


  1. If you have a problem controlling your gambling, then you are a gambling addict. Once you begin gambling, it becomes impossible to stop until you have spent up to the last coin. In the majority of the cases, you are trying to up the bet and recover what you lost. You may start engaging in illegal activities such as fraud and stealing to feed the addiction.


  1. If you feel the need to keep your gambling habit a secret, then you are probably an addict. You may be locked up in your room or office to hide from the rest because you are ashamed of how much you have lost and can’t stop it. You also lie about how much you have spent gambling because you feel that others don’t understand you. You also feel strongly that you are going to surprise them with a big win.


  1. You gamble even when you have no money. Gambling addicts can use even more money that they have. They use all savings, grocery money, money for the utilities and credit cards. They borrow money from friends, financial institutions and can even steal so that they can gamble.


  1. If friends are increasingly getting worried about you, then you are an addict. Denial fuels the problem gambling. You may not notice that you are sinking deeper into gambling. However, the constant worries from your friends and relatives will tell you to listen to them.


  1. When you tried severally to stop gambling and every time you are unsuccessful, you have a problem gambling. There is always this urge and an inner voice telling you that it is the last time you are gambling. You may happen to tell yourself that it is the least time you are gambling but every time is the last time.


  1. When you attempt to stop gambling, you become irritable and restless. You feel like a drug addict, and your mood for other productive activities significantly diminish. It becomes easy for you to become easily irritated by the small things. The restlessness pushes you back to gambling again. If you have ever seen how a drug addict becomes restless that they cannot think properly, then that is the same thing that happens with the gambling addicts. It is not a pleasant feeling at all.


  1. If you are the person that runs to gamble every time you have a problem, then you are gambling addict. It may be a painful breakup or depression that pushes you to gamble. In such a case, you believe that gambling will improve your mood in the same way that a cocaine addict injects it to temporarily forget about their problems.


Treatment for Online Gambling Addiction


Gambling addiction treatment


The first step towards treatment is admitting that you have a problem. You to accept that your gambling problem has gone out of control. While there is no available cure for gambling, you can always take steps to break the habit.


One of the most common treatments that you may come across is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This therapy has demonstrated much promise with a host of addictions. In CBT, the health professional helps you identify the thought processes that lead to the problem gambling. Many gamblers keep placing bets in the hope that they will win big. They continue doing so even they are losing in the hope that they will hit the jackpot and the accumulated losses will be repaid. With this therapy, individuals can identify such misconceptions and can work towards collecting them. Recovery begins by first identifying the causes of the problem and working towards collecting them.


There are also other therapies that you can use. They include psychotherapy where group sessions are offered. Family therapy is also beneficial as for the gambling addict and the whole family at large. There are also residential gambling treatments that the addict can choose from where care is provided 24 hours a day.


Gambling Is a Form of Entertainment


You may have heard a section of your friends saying all the bad things about gambling. According to them, nothing good comes out of it. However, this is a misconception and gambling is a legitimate form of entertainment when done responsibly. Gambling has been shown to be beneficial to people that are in their golden years. In fact, if you are aged, playing to your heart’s content is associated with a number of benefits.

gambling entertainment
Source: Shutterstock

If you are involved with games of chance, then you are likely to have enhanced mental capabilities. It has been shown that responsible gambling has a positive impact on their brain. Players must focus and think, and that is what makes all the difference. The majority of the games involve a kind mathematical system and those that players must think through. That is if they are to make any headway.

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