Addictive Gambling Vs Professional And Social Gambling
Between 1-5% of Americans engage in compulsive gambling. Among young people and ethnic minorities, the rate is even higher. A 2010 study found that 6-9% of adolescents and young adults have a gambling addiction. This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.
With that said, here at Freedom we believe that using our software to change your environment is a great first step to avoid the destructive impact of online gambling addictions. No matter where you are on the gambling addiction curve, and no matter what your life looks like today, we believe the answer to how to stop gambling is to start attacking the roots of pain. On QuitGamble.com, we believe PAIN is the cause of addiction. When we feel pain, we can do almost anything to escape it. When gambling addicts describe the moments they gamble, they often use words like quiet, calming, and freedom. But it’s the escape from the pain we get addicted to, not the gambling itself.
Prevent yourself from being able to gamble by letting go of your financial reins. Have a partner, parent, or close friend control your finances until you get a handle on your gambling problem. When you have a gambling addiction, an area of your brain called the insula may be overactive. This hyperactive region may lead to distorted thinking. This can cause you to see patterns in random sequences and continue gambling after near misses. Treatment and assistance may need to address various aspects of the person’s life, family, education, financial issues, any legal problems, and professional situation.
Set a money limit in advance and once you have lost that amount, stop playing. If you lose money while gambling, don’t chase it by going over your limit. A 12-step support group like Gamblers Anonymous can provide the accountability, structure, and encouragement you need to successfully stop gambling.
What happens when one individual in the family is addicted impacts all members of the family. This kind of financial stress puts a huge burden on both the family and the individual. Many family relationships break down as a result of problem gambling, and children are often the innocent victims of the emotional distress created within the home. Those suffering from a gambling addiction additionally endure physical health issues such as ulcers, stomach problems, headaches, and insomnia due to stress.
If this happens, perhaps try the urge surfing technique as above. When lapses occur, becoming aware of the triggers that lead you to gamble can help you manage urges more effectively in future situations. But not everyone in the Untied States is slinging their dollars out on the slot machines.