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Visiting a casino might be an afternoon of leisure for most people. However, for some, gambling may become compulsive to the point of addiction.
In this article, we'll be diving deep into the discussion of gambling addiction, what it is, how it's caused, and how it can be treated.
So, let’s get to it.
What Is Gambling Addiction
Gambling addiction, also known as pathological gambling, happens to be an impulse-control disorder.
Anyone who develops gambling addiction becomes a compulsive gambler and faces difficulty in controlling the impulse to gamble. A compulsive gambler will keep gambling regardless of the consequences, even when he knows that the odds are against him and he can't win.
To avoid misconceptions and to have a better idea of what you’re dealing with, let’s look at the different classifications and types of gambling addiction.
Classification and Types of Gambling Addiction
Dr. Robert L. Custer was a known psychiatrist and a pioneer in the categorization and treatment of compulsive gamblers. It was after his theory of treating gambling as a behavior disorder that people started to notice specific patterns and classify gambling into different types. To have a better understanding, these types have been listed below.
1. Professional Gamblers
These types of gambling addicts view gambling as their occupation, and they often take part in lengthy and high stake games like poker tournaments.
2. Serious Social Gamblers
Serious social gamblers view gambling as their primary recreation source. While many of these can maintain control, they are always at a risk of developing addictive behavior after big wins or in times of extreme stress. However, outside people may view their dedication to gambling as too extreme.
3. Compulsive Gamblers
Compulsive gamblers are the ones who suffer from pathological gambling – a psychological disorder. These gamblers continue to gamble despite any negative consequences and often face mental health or substance abuse problems.
4. Anti-Social Gamblers
These gamblers are often attracted to the illegal aspects of gambling and may have been involved in crime previously. Individuals who suffer from an antisocial personality disorder may be more vulnerable to addiction issues.
5. Relief and Escape Gamblers
These individuals tend to use gambling as a way to deal with their emotions. They are often vulnerable and may have suffered a history of trauma. To temporarily escape from their reality, they become easily engaged in a vicious cycle of gambling.
Causes of Gambling Addiction
The primary cause of gambling addiction is said to be the constant participation in gambling that gets worse with time regardless of the consequences. What starts out as a simple way of leisure and escape from everyday problems turns into a serious addiction with even more severe consequences.
The Mechanism of Formation of Gambling Addiction
You might not know this, but when you develop a gambling addiction, the insula – an area of your brain – may become overactive. This hyperactive region leads to distorted thinking and can cause you to see several patterns in random sequences, making you gamble more after near misses.
To be more specific, your brain would respond to gambling in the same way that an alcoholic person’s brain responds to alcohol.
Stages of Gambling Addiction
There are a total of four gambling addiction stages, and they are listed below.
1. Losing Control Over the Gambling Process
This is perhaps the first symptom of addiction that distinguishes an ordinary man from a gambler. When an ordinary man goes to a gambling house, losing money doesn't jeopardize his financial situation, and he is neither disappointed nor excited about the loss.
However, when a gambling addict gambles, he gambles for the adrenaline, not the money. It is this adrenaline that stimulates him to continue to gamble. He can only stop when all his money is exhausted, and nobody wants to lend money to him, which makes him incapable of remaining in the game.
2. Developing Mental Addiction
Just like alcoholics or drug addicts feel the urge to do it again, gambling addicts also have the urge to feel the adrenaline again.
So, as soon they find a new opportunity for gambling, they take it. As a result, they lose their sense of time and money and stop spending time with their family.
3. Abstinence Syndrome
Since the gambler spends significant time in the gambling house, he begins to feel a series of psychological crises like being nervous, irritable, unable to sleep, and feeling bad.
Since he loses more money and gets a considerable sum of debt, he confesses to his family and asks for help. Not just that, but he promises to never gamble again as well. But it is to be noted that these are just empty promises.
4. Strengthening Stage
In this stage, the gambling addiction worsens so much that to satisfy it, the gambler begins to sell valuable items from home. After gambling away the money, feelings of resentment and depression become unbearable, and to him, it seems like gambling is the only way to regain lost money, but it's not. It is at this stage that people ask for professional help.
Signs and Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
There are quite a lot of signs of gambling addiction. They include but are not limited to the following:
The hallmark sign of gambling addiction is that you feel that you can't stop. If you feel as if you need to try just one more time or if you feel anxious when you think about quitting, there are high chances that you’ve become a gambling addict too.
Listed below are the addiction to gambling symptoms.
Treatment Options for Gambling Addiction
If proper gambling addiction treatment is done, recovery is totally achievable. Medical treatment for gambling addiction can be done in several forms, including medical treatment, inpatient treatment, and outpatient treatment.
Just like medication can treat physical problems, it can also treat psychological problems like gambling addiction. In many cases, gambling addiction results from an underlying mental health condition like bipolar disorder, medication helps in controlling this condition and developing better impulse control.
Inpatient Treatment Vs. Outpatient Treatment
Inpatient treatment is not frequently required, but some addicts do feel the need for the structure at an inpatient program treatment center to fight their addiction. If the patient is unable to avoid gambling venues, then this kind of venue is helpful. Patients are admitted to the treatment facility for a specific time interval that may be between 30 days to an entire year.
In comparison to inpatient treatment for gambling addiction, outpatient treatment is less effective. It requires the addicts to attend classes at a facility. Other than that, patients may be required to attend one-on-one therapy sessions and group sessions as well.
Process and Stages of Gambling Addiction Treatment in Vip Vorobjev Clinic
Vip Vorobjev offers one of the best treatments for gambling addiction. The primary purpose behind rehab gambling addiction treatment at Vip Vorobjev Clinic is to eliminate the need to be in a gambling trance.
Other than that, the professionals at Vip Vorobjev Clinic also help gambling addicts to regain control over their emotions, stabilize their mental state, normalize their sleep, and eliminate elements of nervousness, irritability, and frequent mood swings.
The treatment program at Vip Vorobjev consists of several stages that are listed below.
The first and the most essential phase of gambling addiction is to run diagnostics for the assessment of physical, as well as psychological condition of the patient.
The standard diagnostic examination includes general blood analysis, urine test, biochemical blood test, test for viruses, and urine test. To assess the psychological condition, standard examination implies psychological tests that determine the level of addiction.
After the completion of the diagnostics phase, the results are considered by a team of physicians for the development of a strategy and treatment plan.
2. Medical Devices Treatment
Several medical devices are used for the treatment as well. Neurojet is used for the normalization of dopamine and endorphin, and its stimulation is painless.
Other than that, lateral therapy is used to normalize brain hemispheres and correct behavioral disorders. Moreover, the eye movement integration method is used for desensitization using repeated series of eye movements.
When the treatment begins, pharmacological stabilization of the psychological condition of the patient is required. A balance should be achieved to eliminate nervousness, tension, and depression using medication. Once the patient can accept, analyze and react to events, then the next phase starts.
A series of gambling addiction treatment psychology methods are followed at Vip Vorobjev Clinic. These include individual psychotherapy, education psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, and family psychotherapy. Each gambling addiction therapy tends to have its own set of advantages for the patient.
5. Mental Block
Mental block happens to be a procedure that includes elements of hypnosis when a patient is in a state of trance. During this procedure, the patient views and participates in the important events of his life by looking at childhood images and events that influenced his life.
In this treatment, patients emotionally experience their mistakes and look at the tragic consequences of their actions.
6. Outpatient Treatment
Once the patient discharges from the treatment center, the outpatient treatment phase begins and lasts for about 12 months. This phase involved constant anti-relapse support and regular monthly controls.
Not just that, but the patient remains in constant contact with the doctors and receives the necessary help and advice in case when needed.
Can Gambling Addiction Be Overcome on Its Own
If the addict has low-to-mild addiction, then yes, it is quite possible for him to overcome this problem on his own. Patients can try several gambling addiction treatment methods like learning to relieve unpleasant feelings in healthy ways, strengthening the support group, and seeking help for underlying mood disorders, etc.
However, if the addiction becomes worse and there is no self-control, then perhaps it would be best to get professional help for gambling addiction from treatment places like Vip Vorobjev Clinic.
Average Length of Gambling Treatment
The length of gambling addiction treatment varies on certain factors, such as the program offered by the treatment facility and the intensity of the addiction. However, inpatient treatments can last anywhere from two weeks to one month, whereas outpatient support can go on for as long as a year, or even more in some cases.
The inpatient treatment program at Vip Vorobjev Clinic goes on for 14 to 28 days whereas the outpatient follow-ups continue for 12 months.
Effectiveness of Treatment for Gambling Addiction
Gambling addiction treatment is said to be quite effective if the treatment is done in the right way from the right treatment centers for gambling addiction. People may think that if they make it through the treatment, they will be over and done with it. However, things aren’t simple as aftercare is essential as well. And if signs of gambling addiction treatment are not positive, the patient needs to get in touch with a doctor immediately.
Cost of Gambling Addiction Treatment
The cost of treating gambling addiction tends to vary with a number of factors such as the condition of the patient and the dosage of medication he requires. To get an accurate price quote, you can get in touch with the customer service team of VIP Vorobjev, and they will be happy to help you out in this matter.
Patents and Certificates
We feel pride in saying that we follow the latest and most effective treatment methods and tactics to help our patients recover. Not just that, but we also have a proper certification in bringing positive changes in the lives of our patients.
At VIP Vorobjev, we believe in giving top-quality rehab and helping the patients in the most professional way possible. Therefore, we have experienced medical experts and doctors who can cater to patients that suffer from several problems. Not only does our staff create individual recovery plans, but they also excel at providing exceptional treatment.
I am a married man who started gambling casually with friends. But soon this leisure activity became an addiction and started to affect not only my personal life but also my social and work life. I lost a lot of money in gambling and couldn’t recover it. Then, luckily, I came across Vip Vorobjev Clinic where I got in touch with the experienced doctors who helped me overcome my addiction.
Gambling addiction is no doubt a serious problem that can not only have adverse effects on the addict's physical and mental health but can also affect his family in many ways. Therefore, it is essential to take the necessary steps to get this gambling addictions treatment as soon as it is identified. If you need help with solving this problem, call our medical advisors today and receive the medical attention that will lead you to a healthy life.
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