Action plan of therapy to stop gambling
The effective and efficient way of quitting gambling is to ensure the blockage of all routes, paths and the enticing or tempting elements that can lead to gambling or lure you into it. No matter what the guidance you have got in rehab if you still lurk around the enticing elements, you will relapse. The best way to quit addictive gambling is to get rid of the luring elements of gambling around you and substitute them with better and rewarding activities. Let us examine some elements required for gambling; and how to handle them. The action plan therapy at gambling has a few elements:
- The decision: Every activity comes first from the decision-making. Gambling comes from your decision; it is all about your desire. Whenever the urge for gambling comes, stop whatever you are doing. Think of the consequences and remind yourself of the inherent pains thereof and get yourself engaged in a rewarding activity.
- Money: You need money to gamble, it is an excellent factor in decision-making, and it influences the action of gambling. Do yourself a favour; let your partner be in charge of your finances and credit cards. Close every opening to gambling and shut down every online gambling registration. Withdraw all existing standing order to your banks to make automatic payments, and ensure that you have limited cash to spend on basic needs.
- Time: Time is an essential factor in gambling, you need several sessions, even in online gambling, which you would play in the comfort of your home. You need time to log on to play. Schedule your time for recreational and educational activities both within and outside your home. Even if it is on your smartphone, replace it with mobile phone games. Always fill your day with productive activities; no void should be left open for the temptation to gamble.
- Gambling Sites: Without some gambling sites, it will be challenging to hide your compulsive gambling, because a casino is a public place. Hence, you might want to protect it from people and do online gambling. Just delete all betting apps, remove yourself from all online gambling groups and deregister yourself from gambling sites and their newsletters. Never avail yourself of any opportunity to gamble, quit all physical and virtual environments that can cause you a relapse. Mail all betting sites about your addiction and inform them to block you and restrict you entirely from entering with either a smartphone or computer.
Procedures to getting rid of betting urge
Having urges for anything be it negative or positive is standard in every human being, but the ability to yield or not solely relies on us. We should build our mind to be strong enough to restrict any temptation. An urge is a constant factor in human endeavour’s; the way we react to it we make or mar us. You grow a stronger and a healthier mindset to choose right after resisting temptations over time. Feeling the urge to do anything is normal, but your choices and the network of support you have will be a significant factor in aiding your quick recovery and the ability to resist cravings of gambling will become more comfortable. Get rid of irrational gambling by:
- Avoiding isolation, being alone may cause loneliness that allows for negative thoughts.
- Staying away from the assembly of gamblers; virtually or physically.
- Calling a trusted family member for a chat or meeting in a coffee bar.
- Engaging in any activity which can distract your attention from gambling, seeing a movie or going to a gym.
- Giving your gambling friends reasons for not seeing or meeting with them all.
- Resisting gambling by continually thinking about the original trauma, agony and loss you may suffer.
- Knowing that resisting and getting over a gambling attitude is not a natural process. Do not get hard on yourself and give up on fighting gambling cravings. You may slip from time to time; the important thing is to avoid the mistakes made and continue your recovery processes.
We need to emphasise that Professional Therapies should not be replaced with self-efforts. It is imperative to see a psychotherapist and other mental and emotional health caregivers. Going for professional assistance from a therapist does not make you a weakling or inability to handle your challenges as an adult. Therapy is an efficient instrument in getting the necessary education and support to cope with a callous decision against gambling addiction that will last a lifetime. Addictive gambling might be a serious psycho-disorder that will require a medication, which can only be prescribed, by a doctor or a therapist after the necessary prognosis and diagnosis. A Neurotic Gambler can receive the following therapies from a professional:
- An In-Patient Treatments to cure chronic gambling addiction for those who could not do without gambling round the clock, a day; they require isolation in a therapy centre to hinder a relapse and time to get rid of the mental and emotional trauma; even denying them the access to a smartphone, PC and gambling friends.
- Therapy centre offers Cognitive Behavioural Test (CBT) for Neurotic Gamblers with a focus on changing the narrative of unhealthy gambling habits, thoughts, false beliefs and rationalisation. They also educate In-Patients on how to fight gambling desires and urges, and how to solve financial, work and relationship challenges.
- There are various CBT Programs aimed at correcting thought patterns and false beliefs about gambling, such as revalue, refocus, re-label and re-attribute.
Helping a compulsive gambler
It is normal for the family of an addictive gambler to be worried and emotionally down like the victim. It is a matter of blood is thicker than water. They would be concerned about his irresponsibility, wastefulness, emotional trauma and other psychological issues. They spend a lot in therapy and rehab centres; sacrifice their time even though they have conflicting emotions and interest. They usually do everything within their economic power to rehabilitate their own and cover up from the public eyes.
What usually upset the family members most is a relapse, they would feel frustrated and very angry trying to clear his mess regarding debts or any other addiction or crime, because of bankruptcy he got into through financial recklessness. It is very common for an addictive gambler to run into debts or steal to satisfy his urge, and there is no way for a refund. The family would look for a way to pay back and sometimes pay an attorney for litigation to save him from going to jail for a crime.
The family even get themselves at crossroads when a gambler has sold the family property to offset debts or gamble away with proceeds from the sales. Notably, a couple with joint credit cards, the other partner would have to mix feelings of anger, despair and pity, and look very confused on a step to take. Some family members may feel like jailing him while some sections of the family may empathise with him and soliciting help for him. It is a matter of fact and worthy of stating that, though it might sound harsh and hard, no one can make an addictive gambler stop the gambling and wager with anything. It is a fundamental thing, the final decision must come from him, and the rehabilitation will help him fast in quitting it quickly.
When a compulsive gambler is faced with consequences of their actions, they look sober and sometimes weep with many promises and vows, please, do not take those promises and pledges to heart, but those argue with him or show your scepticism. In all these, he needs your support and assistance, because they go through low self-esteem, sadness, despair, trauma; even some may consider a suicide action. We must prevent harms from addictive gamblers who are in trouble. When they feel lonely, alone and hopeless, the risk of committing suicide is high; we need to talk to them and make them busy with other activities or take them to a rehab where they will keep an eye on them until they have a stable condition.
Family members can also help a gambling addict
You protect yourself first; this has to do with your health, emotion, job, finances and property. You can only assist anyone when you have a sound mind, health and stable income. Do not use yourself as a reason for the gamblers ordeals. However, you can empathise, but do not crucify yourself for someone’s inability to take charge of his or her life. Never allow his addiction or the consequences of his actions get better of you and wear yourself out. You can only take the wise and right decision when you have a sound mind and health.
Ignoring your immediate needs may give you both negative results. Instead of looking for help for one, they become two. What a disaster! Never try to shoulder the responsibility alone, it will be overwhelming and consuming. For instance, as a wife, you are trying to take care of your needs, and that of the children, challenges at works, etc. Then adding the traumatised burden of a gambling husband will be a wearisome expedition. All you need to do is to take a step at a time and ask for help from people around you. However, you might want to cover up for your husband because of the shame. Just know that you can do it all alone, you need some helping hands, talk to caring for extended family and friends. They usually give a trump card to the challenges. Never try to fight the battle alone, it will consume the helper, and the helped!
Be in charge of your finance and that of the gambling one, ensure the gambler accounts for every dollar spent and as well do not allow him to hold credit cards and guard them carefully. Do not let them slip away from you. Ensure you are discreet about cash at hand and the documents of the property. However, while doing all these, remember that you cannot colonies the life of a gambler and make all the decisions for him. This may result in another trouble because no one can stop a compulsive gambler from gambling. To avoid being too authoritarian, take charge of yourself and your belongings while helping him out. Be careful on how you manage the requests of a gambler, be polite and diplomatically decline a difficult request. Do not yield to anything that causes relapse and do not be tough on him, be decisive in refusing his request. Compulsive gamblers are experts in asking for money tactfully, in a manner you would not say no. Just stand your ground and outsmart him. Do not allow his manipulations, threats and pleadings outwit you.
The symptoms of Addictive Gambling could be:
- Short Term
- Long Term
- Physical Symptoms: Addictive gamblers some time lose appetite due to massive loss of money that may cause pale skin, weight loss, sad look, isolation, lost on interest in sex, seeing a movie or engage in relationship building activities.
- Psychological Symptoms: Compulsive gambling may result in emotional imbalance, anxiety, sleep deprivation, depression and other self-harming actions.
- Short-Term Symptoms: There are some short-term symptoms associated with compulsive gambling. They are usually stopgap actions like alcohol consumption, drug overdose, smoking, etc. to alleviate worries that come from excessive gambling.
- Long-Term Symptoms: Gambling Addiction often than not results in other addictions that serve as coping devices for those who are traumatised by the financial mess they got into. Many compulsive gamblers turn to drugs, heavy alcoholic consumption, chain-smoking and other vices that later add to the gambling addiction.
- Absolute Symptoms: these are extreme habits, usually mental challenges. These set of gamblers should be sent immediately to rehab centres to abate their problems.
Causes and cures of gambling addictions
Gambling starts like a fun catching event. It becomes a habit when a person is obsessed with winning a jackpot, the hence spending and losing fortunes on gambling. When the jackpot grows elusive, and the gambler had lost all he had. Then worries set in and other stopgap attitudes become an addiction. They may find themselves in the chains of compulsion that could mar them financially, socially, psychologically and physically.
Addictions, no matter the substance or action, all find their cause in psychology. When people begin to do or take something like a routine action, then it becomes an addiction when that person becomes psychologically inclined to it. Addiction happens when you cannot stop doing something by choice alone, and you cannot control the urge that comes from it. Gamblers often feel they can manage their activities while their urges usually control compulsive Gamblers.
Psychological Imbalances like obsessive and compulsive disorder usually do not have a point to be declared cured, even gamblers agreed with this fact. There is no an absolute end point, it is a thing of the mind, as long as a human being thinks, the thought of any obsession would come at a point, all you need to do is to build a resistant against it. The idea will become weaker as time foes and if you do not yield to its temptations. Just like any other addiction, steps can be taken to let loose the hold of compulsive gambling over your life or your loved ones. Time is an essential factor that heals the wounds of a compulsive gambler. Neurotic Gamblers require therapies that will run from minor to intensive treatments and group-factored recovery. Gambling addiction treatment programs are not a once and for all propositions; instead, you need to educate yourself on the therapy options available, to make the right decision that leads to the best outcome for quick recovery.
Cognitive Therapy Treatment sessions have helped and revealed some promising results regarding combating the challenges of gambling addictions. Mental Health Professionals have the duty of maintaining an addict to identify how their thought processes work and exact they lead to gambling practices, especially in the case of relapsing. It is a common belief among the gamblers; compulsive or not, that they will surely win a jackpot if they throw the right money or use the proper techniques. They have rich-quick syndrome; that is always their undoing. Many gamblers believe that with persistence and consistency, they will surely win the big jackpot have been hoping to live a better life and offset their debts. It is most unfortunate that the reverse is always the case. Even most jackpot winners still go into bankruptcy due to poor management of their winnings by reckless spending.
Psychological nature of compulsive gambling makes it difficult to lay a hand on a solution or a specific therapy. A multifaceted situation requires a variety of treatments; be it in the form of medicines, talks or actions. Their mood swings based entirely on the winnings and losing; it is more of a cognitive behavioural disorder than any other reason. An Impulsive gambler can discover these psychological abnormalities and work towards correcting them. When these significant causes are found and dealt with, it will be an ultimate route to recovery.
Luxury compulsive gambling
The rich and the wealthy are also get addicted to gambling. Addiction is no respecter of age, gender, social status or other demography. The rich also face the same addiction problems as low-level gamblers. It is just that they have enough resources to manage their urges; also, do not usually face chronic trauma like the poor ones, because they gamble from their wealth, not a borrowed money, and still have enough to pay their bills and meet their needs. Another advantage they have over the low-level gamblers; is the jackpot winnings, whenever they win, it is always a BIG Win because they invest Big on their stakes. We need to state here that they also suffer trauma when they lose big or have a relapse when they feel to stop gambling habit. But, in their case, they can afford better treatments with high-class facilities and couple with conventional treatments available.
Luxury Compulsive Gamblers enjoy better facilities which may offer treatments with some amenities which are available in the spa. They enjoy physical therapy to soothe their body; massages, pool swimming and a hot bath, etc. Most importantly, luxury addicted gamblers receive similar psychological therapies to that of other people. It is just that they receive their treatments under better condition and ambience. As the name implies, in a setting that it is comparable to a luxury option than an ordinary hospital infrastructure.