Gambling addiction is a problem many people face today. This addiction can cause many problems, including debt, relationship issues, and depression. The worst part about gambling addiction is that most people are not aware of their addiction until it has caused irreversible damage to their lives. To help players avoid addiction, the team at CasinoGrizzly put together this guide on responsible gambling.
This article will teach you about gambling addiction and how to deal with it. We’ve also included some tips and links to associations that can offer you comprehensive support if you need help.
Gambling addiction is also known as compulsive gambling, pathological gambling, or gambling disorder. These terms refer to when a person has an uncontrollable desire to gamble even when it negatively affects their lives.
Gambling is fun and stimulates the brain like alcohol and drugs, which can lead to addiction. People with a gambling addiction may amass debts, hide their behaviour from others, exhaust their savings, or even engage in criminal activities to feed their addiction.
Sometimes, gambling addiction is linked with other mood and behaviour disorders. Some problem gamblers may also deal with substance abuse and mental health issues, and it will be essential to address these to resolve any gambling-related problems.
However, it is possible to have a gambling problem while maintaining control of your life. Gambling addiction encompasses any gambling activity that disrupts the normal flow of your life. So, to the outside world, things may seem fine, but if even the slightest issues arise from your gambling habit, you likely have an addiction.
In most instances, people dealing with a gambling problem do everything they can to keep their addiction a secret. However, this condition is not always easy to hide, meaning there are some obvious signs you can look out for if you’re concerned about someone you know. By looking out for these signs, you or someone else can avoid causing considerable damage, such as losing a job, ruining relationships, or running out of money.
Below are the most common gambling addiction symptoms:
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) states that a person must display four or more of the symptoms above within 12 months before being diagnosed as a gambling addict. However, to get a more accurate result, you must get a medical diagnosis from a mental health expert or professional. Professionals can help determine if you are dealing with a gambling addiction or another mental health issue.
Gambling addiction doesn’t present itself in the same way for everyone; it can come in various forms. The first step to treating this problem is determining the type of gambling addiction you have. The following are the most common types:
If you have a gambling problem, the first step to getting help is to accept that you have a problem. When you do this, you can break free from the vicious cycle of gambling addiction. Many steps can help you achieve this, which we’ve outlined below.
Once you have accepted that there is a problem, it’s worth joining a support group. These organizations are run by people that have experience with gambling addiction and have overcome it in the past. Support groups can help you to overcome your issues and are usually free to use online or in person. One of the best options is Gamblers Anonymous.
An easy way to ensure you don’t gamble anymore is to stay away from places where gambling takes place. You can also destroy your credit cards or let someone else handle your finances to keep you in check.
Gambling comes with cravings, just like other addictions. These cravings are usually intense and challenging to avoid, which is why you need to understand them. Understanding your desires, what you think of, and how long they last are the best ways to stop them from controlling you.
Most people use gambling to pass the time and have fun. Replacing your gambling activities with positive ones will be vital if you try to eliminate your gambling addiction. A few options include meditation, travelling, hanging out with family and friends who don’t gamble or going on walks.
When you are trying to stop something you are addicted to, you may sometimes experience cravings. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to deal with cravings:
Professional treatment options are available if you have tried out the self-help options that do not seem to work. These include:
Many therapies are available for gamblers, ranging from group-based recovery to intensive treatments. Since the options are numerous, you will need to research to find the ideal one for you. The following are the most common options available if you decide to go with therapy:
Some medications can help minimize the symptoms that come with gambling addictions. Examples of these include antidepressants and mood stabilizers. Some antidepressants can minimize gambling urges, while drugs used for treating drug addictions can aid those dealing with compulsive gambling.
Sometimes it may not be you dealing with the addiction but someone you know. This could be a family friend or loved one, and you usually want to help them recover from it. However, trying to help someone close to you with a gambling addiction can be extremely difficult.
The easiest way to get a gambling addict to want to seek change is to let them see the impact of their gambling. Even though their gambling problem may be troubling you, it is best not to judge but show love and support instead.
You can also seek the help of experts to help gamblers recover. These experts are better equipped to help your loved one overcome gambling addiction. One organization you can reach out to is the Alberta Problem Gambling Resources Network on 1-866-461-1259. If you are dealing with the case of a loved one who is experiencing suicidal tendencies, you can reach the Canada Suicide Prevention Service helpline at 1-833-456-4566.
If you are not of the legal gambling age, staying away from casinos and online gambling platforms is best. In Canada, the legal gambling age is 18, except in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec, where the age limit is 19. It is important to note that some casinos may require you to be at least 21 years old before you can gamble online.
Violating the gambling age limit can result in numerous penalties, including being banned from the casino and confiscating your winnings.
Responsible gambling is a fun activity, but it can easily become addictive. When gambling becomes a necessity, you could have an issue. To ensure you don’t fall into this situation, we have put together a few tips that can help you gamble responsibly. They include:
We at Casinogrizzly believe in responsible gaming, which is why we have a responsible gambling policy. Please gamble responsibly and follow the tips in this guide to ensure you have a fun experience.