Addiction in any form is dreadful and addiction of gambling is an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Gambling occasionally can be enjoyable, but prolonged interest in it, can turn into an obsession, compelling the gambler to gamble continuously, irrespective of whether he wins. Gambling addiction takes a toll on the addict’s finances and affects him socially, psychologically and physically. It devastates the gambler’s life and has serious consequences on family and friends.
How does gambling addiction start
People generally resort to gambling for various reasons, like curiosity, trying once and winning and getting hooked, but mostly gambling addiction is the escape route from personal relationship problems or any past or current failure in life. The simplest way someone gets addicted is to try once or twice, and with beginner’s luck, he wins, but after that he starts losing. In an effort to gain back the entire money, the gambler goes on playing, till he is left with nothing. Addicts do not hesitate to beg, borrow or steal money to continue their routine of gambling.
This situation must be tackled before it moves beyond control, but the most difficult task is to locate and identify an addict. An addict gambler is very smart to hide his characteristic traits. However, one symptom can give them away – they always try to sneak around, lie about their whereabouts and ask people to lend money.
Self-help for treating gambling addiction – What are the options?
The first step in curing gambling addiction is to confess in the presence of someone else. The presence of someone close would help the addict remain motivated to his efforts. This is the most difficult step as one who can admit that he is an addict, is half way through the curing process because most addicts shy away due to the fear of social rejection.
After the admission, the addict must avoid visiting the places where he gambles, like casinos and clubs. If he is addicted to online gambling then he must remove all sites from the computer. The next step is to engage in some fruitful activity that distracts the addict from gambling, like taking a walk, or visiting a gym.
Following natural therapies are better and safer than trying some kind of medicine, because all medicines have side effects and runs the risk of creating drug dependency. Gambling addicts can also join gambling anonymous support forums, where they can see others like them, trying to get rid of this dangerous habit.