If you are addicted to a substance, it is easy to identify your problem. Most cigarette smokers admit that they cannot stop smoking. Heroin users will admit that they need the heroin, if for no other reason than to temporarily reduce withdrawal symptoms. The first step in weaning oneself off of these substances is recognizing and admitting the problem, though subsequent withdrawal is very difficult.
If you are addicted to an activity, admitting that you have a problem can be difficult. For example, if you are addicted to gambling, you may believe that, just because you do not set foot in a casino, you do not have a problem. On the other hand, you may bet compulsively on horses or sports or even the outcome of such contests as Miss America. You may not see these activities as problems because many others are doing the same thing. You do not experience physical withdrawal symptoms if several days go by without you placing a bet.
On the other hand, if your need to gamble causes problems in other parts of your life, you may need gambling addiction treatment. Some problem gamblers spend all of their savings before getting help. Others steal to get funds for wagering. Still others may remain awake for more than 24 hours gambling on the Internet, causing them to stay home from work or school. They experience a “high” when they win and it is this high that incents them to gamble more. The high is short-lived and they continue to chase it, losing money in the process.
Gambling addiction help uses a number of modalities to enable addicts to become aware of their problem. Cognitive therapy is helpful for bringing to the forefront an addict’s need for the high and his tendency to keep chasing it. Once the addict understands what is going on, she can make conscious choices to stop.
Behavioral addiction does come with its own set of withdrawal symptoms that may be experienced during the gambling addiction treatment. While gambling withdrawal symptoms don’t always show themselves in the same way for every patient, there are several that are common during the stages of treatment. Williamsville Wellness will help the patients and loved ones understand how withdrawal symptoms can occur and how they will affect the treatment. For example, some of the most common symptoms are cravings to gamble, irritability and restlessness. More physical gambling addiction withdrawal symptoms can occur like insomnia, headaches, muscle soreness, difficulty breathing and diarrhea do show up with some patients.
Other forms of gambling treatment require that people who are important in the addict’s life participate in that person’s recovery. Family and friend counseling enables them to be proactive in the life of the addict. They are taught to discern the signals when the addict wants to gamble and to find ways to channel that behavior to something more constructive.
For some people with addictive personalities, it can help to substitute a healthy addiction like running for an unhealthy one like gambling. Running and other forms of exercise help to release endorphins, which provide their own “high, but one that is healthy.