Is your gambling habit becoming a problem?
Gambling was one of the first behaviours to be recognised as having the potential for being addictive. These are some of the signs of gambling addiction:
- Spending an increasing amount of time gambling, as it’s the only thing you’re really interested in.
- Keeping the extent of your gambling secret
- Erratic behaviour
- Irrational thinking, with mood swings
- Debts and problems with your finances
- Despite people saying you have a problem, you can’t see it.
- Struggling to function properly at work
- Difficulties maintaining relationships
- Feeling out of control, and that you can’t stop, even if you want to.
If you have answered yes to two or more of the above questions, then it could be you have a problem with gambling. You can talk to someone about this in confidence by contacting Serena House.
What is gambling addiction?
Like any drug, those who feel compelled to gamble are addicted to the dopamine rush to the brain that the excitement of gambling triggers, and find it difficult to resist the thoughts and urges that often precede a gambling episode.
The main trait of someone addicted to gambling, is being in a state of denial. The sufferer will reject reasoning and take risks in the hope that the next bet will put everything right. They have become fixated on a fantasy world where success in gambling leads to a better life, and an escape from reality.
There is evidence of a link between gambling and mental health problems, depression, spiralling debts, family breakdown and crime.
Gambling on the internet
Sadly, the temptation, or risk, of your gambling habit turning into a serious and life changing addiction has never been greater.
While the increase in fixed-odds betting terminals in betting shops has led them to be dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling, the advent of the internet means gambling on the web is rapidly expanding, and available 24/7.
Most of the gambling in Britain is done via internet betting, helped along by the gambling adverts and free bet offers. While betting apps on smartphones allow people to gamble at the click of a button wherever they are.
Gambling can affect anyone one, or any age, but probably due to the ease of internet gambling, the proportion of 18-24 year olds with a severe gambling problem has more than tripled in the past three years, according to the Gambling Commission.
Why a detox from gambling is important
Many of those who are addicted to gambling, are during lucid moments, ashamed of their activities, especially when it is at the expense of those around them. This can lead them to hide the extent of their problem, and keep it a secret for as long as possible.
The growing toll of problem gambling in Britain is now so serious that GPs are prescribing some gamblers the drug Naltrexone, which is usually given to drug and alcohol addicts, including heroin, to help fight their cravings.
It’s hard to wean yourself off such a strong addiction on your own.
This is where Serena House can offer a safe haven for you to step away from temptation, with the support of an integrated team of specialist medical staff and therapists, many of whom are in long-term recovery from addictions themselves, so understand what you’re going through.
How gambling addiction is treated
Treatment at Serena House is holistic and will include:
- One-to-one therapy sessions and in small groups, to help address the underlying causes that are driving your gambling habit. Research shows that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a talking therapy, can be useful in helping clients to identify and manage the triggers to their problem behaviour, challenge irrational thinking and find ways to better cope with feelings, thoughts and urges that may precede a gambling episode. This has been scientifically shown to significantly reduce treated patients' spending on gambling both in the short and long term.
- A psychiatric assessment and medical management of other mental health problems, such as depression.
- Individual goal setting to encourage motivation and life changes.
- Support family members and partners also affected.
Once you’ve completed your stay at Serena House, you’ll be offered the continued support from our therapists to help you have every success of making a full recovery. We can also put you in touch with other organisations such as a financial awareness programme. Through this integrated and caring approach, you’ll feel supported every step of the way, to develop self- acceptance and worth, resulting in a more balanced and happier life.
Serena House is a private gambling addiction detox clinic in the heart of London
Talk to one of our counsellors on 020 3582 4288.