For many people an addiction starts out as a perfectly acceptable social behaviour. This is certainly the case with a gambling addiction and one of the reasons that it can be so hard to get the addict to accept there is a problem.
If you stop and think about gambling it is very much a part of our society. It isn’t hard to find a casino, make a friendly wager on a football game, or play the lottery when you have a few dollars to spare. However, for some people, that occasional wager with spare change turns into a hopeless pursuit of an emotional rush and flooding of euphoric feelings that came with that win.
How the Addiction Starts
Many problem gamblers do not gamble on a daily basis. However, when they do gamble they tend to be compulsive about placing their wagers, either online or in-person, and may gamble away their entire life savings in the matter of a few hours.
Why this behaviour starts in some people and not in others is still not clearly understood by researchers. It is believed to have a genetic or biologic component as addictions in general are more common in some families than in others. However, this is not the complete answer as many people with no family history of any addictions develop significant problems with gambling.
A contributing factor for any addiction is an individual’s ability to cope with stress, negativity and avoidance. When individuals have poor coping mechanisms for stress, negatively and find risk taking pleasurable the thrill of that immediate rush of excitement with a win gives them relief from those unpleasant feelings.
This triggers the individual to continue to gamble to try to feel good again, gradually increasing the risk and the excitement in the wager to get that same sensation. At this point it is just like a substance addiction where you need more to feel the same positive feelings, regardless of what wagering that more might cost.
Treating Gambling Addiction
Gambling, because it is everywhere around you, can be very difficult to simply stop on your own, especially if it has reached the level of a compulsion or an addiction. This is also challenging for many clients as family and friends may not understand the addictive component and may be very hostile towards the person with the gambling addiction.
The good news is that this is an addiction that can be treated with psychotherapy and counselling to help to understand the reasons behind the actions and develop new ways to feel good, deal with stress and prevent the negative feelings that were driving the behaviour.
In many situation clients that seek help for gambling addictions are really looking to take back control of their life. They are aware that the gambling is costing them their savings, their relationship and, in many cases, their careers.
By taking the first step and making an appointment with Philippe Jacquet you can change your thoughts and your behaviour. You will learn new ways to deal with challenges in your life to allow you to lead a life without a gambling problem.