CAN IT BE TREATED?
YOU BET IT CAN!
For many, gambling grows from an occasional social activity to a compulsively negative behavior which is no longer a choice. Compulsive gambling is not a bad habit but rather a life-threatening disorder. Compulsive gambling is destructive to families, friendships and careers. Bills go unpaid. Basic needs like money for food and rent are neglected. Some gamblers become suicidal. Most will need help to change their gambling behavior.
Common signs of gambling problems include:
- Increasing the frequency of gambling activity.
- Increasing the amount of money gambled.
- Spending an excessive amount of time gambling at the expense of job or family time.
- Being preoccupied with gambling or with obtaining money with which to gamble.
- Experiencing a special or intense pleasure or an aroused sense of being in "action" when gambling.
- Borrowing money to gamble, taking out secret loans, cashing in or borrowing on life insurance policies or maximizing credit cards.
- Bragging about wins but not talking about losses.
- Having frequent mood swings, higher when winning, lower when losing.
- Secretive behavior, such as hiding lottery tickets, betting slips, having mail, bills, etc. sent to work, a P.O. box, or other address.
Are you, or someone you love, a compulsive gambler? Any of the above behavior may indicate a gambling problem. Assisting a person to get the best help available is often the most caring action anyone can take.
As with other addictions, knowledge of the symptoms, detection, and intervention by addiction professionals, concerned friends, and family members can be very effective in obtaining treatment for the problem gambler.
At Positive Directions, our professional counselors develop a treatment plan that explores and identifies the feelings and emotional needs of the gambler and is focused on replacing the action and 'medication' that gambling provided with new skills and activities, and stopping the availability of the money needed to engage in the process.
Remember, like other addictions, gambling is treatable.
If gambling has become a problem for you or someone you care about, please call us.