Breaking the vicious cycle: how to overcome gambling addiction
Different online casinos and other forms of gambling are actively advertised in modern times, and this is considered normal. However, the line between casual gaming and addiction is very blurry, and many gamers become hostages to their addiction without even realizing it. Let’s delve into why it’s worth getting rid of this habit and how rehabilitation in a clinic can help start living a fulfilling life.
Why is gaming addiction so dangerous?
Although both an enthusiastic gamer and someone suffering from ludomania can spend a lot of time gambling, there is a significant difference between them. A person for whom it’s just a hobby strictly controls both the time spent and the money he’s willing to spend on the game. A ludomaniac, on the other hand, is often under the grip of getting addicted. Here are just a few criteria that worsen the quality of life with this addiction:
- Uncontrolled time spent on gaming. Addiction is manifested in the fact that the person plays games at any opportunity. Often, they sacrifice sleep or work, leading to health problems and loss of income sources.
- Belief in easy money. The gamer is confident he/she will win, regardless of the slim chances. When losing, they bet even more money, hoping to recover their losses. Upon winning, they don’t feel like stopping, as the feeling of euphoria pushes them towards new bets in hopes of a bigger win.
- Irritability. Impulsivity is particularly noticeable when someone or something tries to pull them away from gambling – conversations or thoughts about it. This damages relationships with family and friends.
- Deception and even theft. Money is required for gambling, so the dependent individual deceives loved ones in an attempt to borrow money or free up time for playing. If they fail to get funds, they might even resort to theft to play again.
- Obsession. Someone suffering from ludomania constantly thinks exclusively about winning. Thoughts about bets and worries about potential money loss lead to panic attacks and sleep issues.
All of the factors listed above lead to financial difficulties, debts, the loss of healthy relationships with family, and deteriorating well-being. By freeing themselves from excessive addiction, a person can improve their health, relationships with beloved ones, and gain more time for productive pursuits.
Steps that can be taken
The first step for someone dependent on gambling is to recognize their addiction. Often, those around you may mention it, so it’s not advisable to simply dismiss their concerns. You can analyze your situation using self-assessment, which includes questions like:
- Do I constantly think about gambling?
- Do I often end up spending more money and time than I intended?
- Do I have to borrow money or deceive loved ones to gamble again?
- Do I get irritated if I’m not allowed to participate in games?
If you answer “yes” to at least one of these questions, the addiction is present to some extent. The steps that can help deal with it can be divided into two groups, which will be discussed further.
Identify the main cause of the problem
Relying solely on willpower is often not enough to overcome addiction. Often, gambling addiction is just a consequence of a deeper issue rooted in psychology. Many gamers have noted that in their childhood, they faced humiliation or lacked love. As a result, their lowered self-esteem led them to use simulated success in gambling as an outlet.
Psychiatrists have observed a direct link between addictions and emotional traumas experienced in childhood. Problems with social adaptation lead individuals to try to express themselves in any way possible, including through games. If the root of the problem is identified, it becomes a crucial step towards resolving it. Even if introspection is challenging, there’s a solution: an open conversation with a mature close person can help analyze one’s thoughts and find the cause that drove the gambling. Eliminating this cause can ease the struggle and lead to victory.
Not to abstain, but to replace
If the addiction is strong, the dependent person won’t be able to simply stop playing. To avoid succumbing again to the desire for easy money, significant changes in life are needed. Here are some steps that can help overcome the addiction:
- Replace negative social interactions with constructive ones. Continuing to closely associate with people obsessed with gambling will repeatedly tempt one to get back to the habit. Caution should lead to avoiding casinos, places for betting, bookmakers, and other sources of gambling. However, it’s important not to isolate oneself: simultaneously, a person can develop relationships with those who encourage worthwhile and productive activities.
- Set boundaries. At the first stage, this could be limitations on time and money allocated for this pastime. Then, gradually tightening these requirements on oneself can diminish the addiction.
- Realize that life can offer more than just the satisfaction of an addiction. Abandoning gambling is an opportunity to use the newly available time for spending with friends, engaging in useful hobbies, and other activities. Fulfilling spiritual needs can also help prevent a relapse. Life will show that prolonged contentment is much more pleasant than fleeting euphoria that might not even occur.
Thus, a clear understanding of the root cause of the addiction, setting boundaries, and replacing games with productive activities can help eliminate the dependency. However, solving the problem might not always be possible on your own. In such cases, the best option is to seek help from a clinic.
Seeking expert help is the best solution
Regretfully, most of the time, addicted gamers don’t recognize their addiction because they believe the situation is under control. In some cases, patients manage to realize the problem and overcome it on their own or with the help of their loved ones. However, the best option is to seek assistance from a clinic that not only helps to overcome the addiction but also addresses its underlying psychological causes. This will prevent a relapse in the future.
While undergoing rehabilitation, the gamer will be focused on their recovery, and specialists will assist them in gradually relinquishing gambling, substituting it with other activities that enable self-realization and integration into society.
Why choose IsraRehab?
The IsraRehab Clinic is a rehabilitation center located away from the urban hustle, on the picturesque seaside of Israel. The clinic employs cutting-edge techniques validated by globally practicing experts and tailors an individual approach to each person, considering their unique characteristics to create a personalized assistance program.
Israel’s climate and the surrounding nature will contribute to overcoming the addiction, while the cultural program, pool, seafront walks, and engaging country tours are organized for patients. IsraRehab offers gentle and effective recovery, ensuring that every patient can break free from gambling once and for all.