Understanding compulsive gambling
We live in an age where it’s never been easier to slip into gambling addiction. With outlets for gambling behaviour available online, at sports betting agencies, in casinos, at racetracks and on stock trading apps, it’s also never been easier to hide it from family and friends.
Compulsive gambling is marked by the rare highs from wins, denial that there’s a problem, a tendency to attempt to recoup losses instead of calling it quits and painful feelings of remorse.
For those of us struggling with compulsive gambling, it can be too easy to miss the warning signs that our behaviour is becoming problematic. In too many cases, it’s only the reality of severe financial distress or confrontation with those we love which brings us to the point of reaching out for help.
Indicators of compulsive gambling
Gambling addicts often experience the same rush that other addictions deliver with drugs and alcohol. This is because the process of gambling stimulates the same reward system in the brain.
Some of the key signs of a gambling addiction include:
- Being preoccupied with gambling, looking forward to gambling or planning finances to enable gambling
- Being unable to walk away from a gambling experience without recouping losses or depleting funds
- Feelings of depression or contemplating suicide to get out of crushing financial stress
- Feeling the need to be secretive about gambling, lying about losses or denying to family or friends that you have a problem
- Seeking loans or borrowing from friends to enable gambling
- Escalatory behaviour, needing to gamble more or at higher risk for the same thrill
- Turning to gambling when lonely or bored
- Using gambling as a way to unwind
If you’re concerned you may have a problem with gambling, you can use our self-assessment tool here to gain a better understanding of whether key indicators of addiction apply to your situation. To schedule a free, confidential, professional phone assessment, call our team seven days a week on 1800 063 332.
Your journey to recovery
At South Pacific Private, we know the importance of providing comprehensive care and clinical expertise when helping clients with gambling addiction, drilling down to find the root drivers of the compulsion and assisting clients to rebuild relationships with friends and loved-ones.
With a full, multi-disciplinary team of specialists and a dedicated Family Program, we’re committed to standing with you every step of the way toward recovery.