Gambling addiction is an addiction that can have serious consequences.
It is an addiction that develops over several years and most often it will cause severe financial problems for the addict as well as sometimes for the people around him.
But gambling addiction can be treated.
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Addiction to gambling
Gambling addiction is an addictive disorder in which the gambling addict has an urge to play games with money at stake. Nowadays, it’s easy to get into gambling, since arcades and online gambling have become legal.
Gambling addiction is not a given, even if you have gambling as an interest. But once gambling is a must, professional treatment for gambling addiction may be necessary
What is gambling addiction?
Gambling addiction is the addiction to gambling. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), gambling addiction is characterised by the experience of repeated urges to gamble.
The urge to gamble occurs to such an extent that it is at the expense of the person’s social, work and family commitments. Gambling addicts are often addicted to playing various sports games, slot machines and games at casinos. The game usually evolves from being a controlled game to an uncontrolled game for money.
Gambling starts with a few games, which gradually develop into big money games, and as time goes by, a lot of money. Unfortunately, it often causes major financial problems for the gambler, but fortunately gambling addiction is a behaviour that can be unlearned and thus stopped.
As with other addictions, there can be several reasons why some people develop gambling addictions.
For example, you may become addicted to gambling if:
- There is gambling addiction in the family – that is inheritance and genes
- Your circle of friends likes to gamble
- You are suffering from a psychological reaction – for example, stress
- You have trouble resisting advertising.
Ludomania develops over time
As mentioned, gambling addiction usually develops over a long period of time – several years. It starts with the player playing to win. It is the prize that entices, and the person’s actions are carefully planned.
Later, the urge to win increases. The person spends more and more time and energy – and money – gambling to win the big prize.
Eventually, the game becomes the overriding factor in everyday life. Everything else – jobs, friends, interests, finances – comes second, the game first.
What is a gambling addict?
A gambling addict plays for money and is often unable to limit his or her gambling. Even if the addict is often aware of the many problems caused by gambling.
It can be difficult to tell when a game has become abusive. If you are unsure whether you or someone you know is a gambling addict, here are some criteria to help you decide.
Criteria by which a gambling diagnosis can be made:
- The gambling addict becomes restless if he/she does not gamble
- More and more money must be invested to achieve excitement
- Often, previous games are rethought and new games are planned
- Stress, restlessness and insomnia ‘cured’ by playing’
- Abstinence has been attempted previously without success
- The gambler plays again and again in the hope of winning back losses
- The gambling addict lies to avoid detection
- Relationships with others are endangered because of the behaviour
- Help is needed to get out of financial problems
The gambling addict also has no control over how much or how long he/she gambles. Nothing else or no one else matters. Not even if the consequences of gambling are severe – such as financial losses, unemployment due to job neglect, or relationship breakdown.
If at least four of the above criteria are met within a year, a diagnosis of gambling addiction may be made.
Why become a gambling addict?
The reasons for becoming a gambling addict can typically be found in one of the following categories:
- Hereditary conditions
- Social conditions
- Individual circumstances
- External influence.
The reasons for becoming a gambling addict can therefore be anything from inherited gambling addiction from one’s parents, or it can be because many people in one’s circle also suffer from gambling addiction.
In addition, it can also be due to individual factors such as an attempt to earn some “easy money” or a search for excitement in everyday life.
Often, external influences such as marketing or friends’ stories can influence a person to become further addicted, for example because the chances of winning are misinterpreted as being higher than they actually are.
When are you a gambling addict?
There are three criteria in particular that characterise whether a person is a gambling addict and that you can test yourself on:
Lack of control over gambling and an increasing urge to gamble.
Play gets so much focus that it takes over other interests and activities.
The game continues despite negative consequences such as conflicts with loved ones or financial losses because more money is constantly being gambled.
If you recognise yourself in the three criteria above, there is a risk that you suffer from gambling addiction. If so, there’s good reason to seek professional help before the game takes over your life.
Call us on +45 48 40 40 60 or send us a message in our contact form if you feel that you no longer have control over your urge to gamble.
Get help to stop gambling addiction at Alfa Fredensborg
Gambling addiction is a disease from which it is fortunately possible to recover. At Alfa-Fredensborg you can get help to stop.
It’s important to get help with gambling addiction withdrawal, otherwise it can take over your life.
We offer treatment for gambling addiction at our treatment centre throughout the country at AlfaRehab or at our centre in North Zealand.
Treatment for gambling addiction is important, as both the addict and the family can experience serious consequences if treatment is not provided.
How to help a gambling addict?
If you are a relative of someone suffering from gambling addiction, please feel free to reach out to us on +45 48 40 40 60. We are here to provide guidance and tools on what you can do to help people with gambling addiction overcome their illness.
The family of a gambling addict is usually also affected by the long and expensive addiction that the addict suffers from. That’s why at Alfa we also provide help and advice to the relatives of a gambling addict.
If you are a family member of a gambling addict, you will also be familiar with the many different feelings of frustration, sadness, despair and anger. If the gambling addict is very addicted to his or her games, secrets and lies also become part of your everyday life – and that’s difficult.
Getting the right help in time is imperative, and Alfa Fredensborg’s treatment can be the place to go to get through the addiction.
Do you have questions about gambling addiction treatment?
Are you a gambling addict or a relative of one? Do you have questions about treatment for gambling addiction at Alfa-Fredensborg or need advice about gambling addiction?
You are always welcome to contact us – our phone is open around the clock. Call us or send us a message in our contact form.