If you’re a problem gambler, there’s a reason it feels so hard to stop.
During a high, your brain is flooded by the same neurotransmitter — dopamine — as someone using opiates, alcohol, or other mind-altering substances.
Chasing that high is what keeps you gambling, even after huge losses.
You may gamble more often than you used to, and for much longer periods of time than you intended.
But it’s not just about the money.
Anyone who’s addicted to gambling knows it gets prioritized not just over your own well-being, but also the well-being of your loved ones, friends, and colleagues.
Gambling addictively will cause any number of bad consequences. Some of these may look familiar:
- Feeling irritable and restless when trying to cut back or stop gambling.
- Spending a significant amount of time thinking about bets and gambling, remembering past experiences of gambling, or planning for gambling in the future.
- Using gambling to handle difficult circumstances and negative feelings like anxiety, depression, and guilt.
- Doubling down on gambling after a loss, trying to win the money back through more gambling.
- Lying to loved ones about how much, when, and where you gamble.
- Sacrificing relationships, financial stability, professional advancement, social opportunities, and more in order to gamble.
- Borrowing money in order to gamble and refusing to quit despite serious financial problems.
Treatment for any type of addiction is not something to be undertaken lightly.
Getting help for a gambling problem isn’t just about stopping that behavior. We’ll start from the inside, working on the issues, thoughts, and feelings that led you to problem gambling in the first place.
You’ll also come away with a plan for recovery. That means building yourself up for the transition to a healthy, sustainable, and fulfilling lifestyle.