When Gambling Gets control

The casino is a world onto itself. There are no windows, no time, but there are boasting lights, and the din of clacking coins and whirring slot machines. Beyond the video poker machines, figures are mesmerized at the crap table. Interest in poker hit new height with televised Tx Hold ’em tourneys. In most of bettors, this is nob hill gazette excitement, recreation, a fun diversion or escape from the ordinary and an opportunity to beat the odds. For others, around three percent of the adult population, it’s an addiction, an endless roller coaster of excitement and lose hope.

A pervasive characteristic of addiction of any sort is that the repeated behaviors have led to a range of negative consequences. This might be putting it gently in the case of pathological playing, because someone in the grips of compulsive playing usually suffers severe blows to finances and relationships before seeking help. His or her life may be in shambles.

The compulsive gambler’s denial leads him to think that the next round helps you to save the day. Of course, if the numbers come up right, the money or credit won is then “invested” again. Playing addiction is hardly a current development, but the advent of electronic poker and the break-neck speed of today’s slot machines, as well as Internet playing have actually increased the time it takes to gamble for fun and when it slipping into problematic, then compulsive behavior.

Pathological playing, like other addictions, is both a neurological and a attitudinal disease. While we don’t know all the factors leading to playing addiction, they often times include social, family and psychological elements. We can say for sure that the brain neuropathways relating to the brain’s things are affected in an persons perception of rewarding experiences. The emotional escape an individual finds in playing could become entrenched.

We have seen from 15-20 percent of patients who suffer from cross-addictive disorders, such as alcoholism or drug reliance with problem playing. Some estimates claim that 35 percent of those with substance abuse or reliance also have met the diagnostic criteria for pathological playing at some point in their lives. The SOGS (South Oaks Playing Screen) is the accepted psychosocial diagnostic tool to name a playing problem and its development.

Both substance and playing addiction are progressive diseases, and may be seen as an inability to regulate urges (to use in order to gamble) denial, anxiety mood golf swings and depression and the need for instant gratification. Playing, like chemical reliance, offers euphoric altitudes, which are inevitably accompanied by emotional valleys and usually guilt and shame. A major difference in playing versus substance addiction is that the intoxicating or drug addict doesn’t believe the substance is the answer to recovery and to his problems, while the compulsive gambler believes the Big Win will be the answer to all his problems.

Playing addictions can also result in symptoms such as blackouts and sleep issues and hopelessness. Divorce, relationship and work problems, even arrests are some devastating consequences of compulsive playing. A person’s our health is often neglected, including medical ailments which have been ignored. Playing addiction is certainly a family disease, creating a dysfunctional family system that orbits around the persons addiction. Children may be emotionally stranded as well as physically neglected. Kids are affected long term too, with studies calculating 35 to 50 percent of children of pathological bettors eventually experiencing playing problems of their own.

It is important anytime chemical and playing addictions co-occur, they are treated at the same time. Like chemical reliance, playing addiction is addressed in of utilizing holistic treatment based on the Twelve Step Philosophy. Treatment is personalized and takes into account issues of gender and age.

Playing: is it the money?

Some experts, including Doctor. Henry Lesieur, Saint. John’s University, NYC, who co-authored the SOGS screening assessment, believe it isn’t really about the money, even though money becomes a growing issue. Seeking action seems to be the major traction for many. Being doing his thing may be similar to the a lot of taking cocaine. “Chasing losses” is term use by habitual bettors to describe attempting to recoup the playing losses by winning. The action gambler usually loves to gamble on site, at a casino, racetrack, or other “live” venue. Often they are identified by casinos as “high rollers” and received comped rooms and meals. Others, though, don’t gamble for action so much as numb their feelings with compulsive playing, so it becomes the ultimate, albeit temporary escape.

Age and gender as factors

A survey by University of Connecticut Health Center psychiatrists published in 2002 assessed bettors seeking treatment and found significant differences by age and gender in pathological bettors. Middle aged (aged 36-55) and older bettors offered help to include more women, at 45-55 percent, than younger bettors (aged 18-35) at 12 percent. Middle aged and older women didn’t begin playing regularly until the age of fifty-five, while older men reported a habit of lifelong playing. Perhaps surprisingly, the women also wagered greatest amounts in the month prior to treatment. Younger bettors reported most problems with substance abuse, social and legal problems, while older bettors found more employment-related problems.

There is a cure for recovery

Pathological bettors, like others who suffer from addiction can and do recover. Cognitive Attitudinal Therapy, with Realistic Emotive Attitudinal Therapy, can alter unhealthy behaviors and thoughts, including false beliefs, rationalizations, and self-destructive feelings. Dialectical Attitudinal Therapy also helps individuals to meet life alone terms rather than escape painful emotions with compulsive addictions.

A of utilizing holistic treatment program that addresses the main issues of addiction as well as any co-occurring disorders is an effective approach that treats the whole person. Continuing care may be essential, for impulse control, as well as ongoing involvement in support groups such as Bettors Unknown. The regaining gambler may also need professional financial advise, and family therapy can help to create a supportive, healthy family structure for sustained recovery.

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