Compulsive Gambling

We Do Recover

Compulsive gambling is a term used to describe an individual who cannot stop gambling despite the negative effects it causes. Symptoms of compulsive gambling are mood changes, denial of gambling and its negative consequences and even withdrawal and anger if they cannot gamble or are challenged on their compulsive behaviour. Compulsive gambling, also known as gambling disorder or ludomania, is a serious addiction and it’s important to understand what it entails and how it can be treated.

Typical Compulsive Gambling Symptoms include:

  • Experiencing an inability to reduce or stop gambling despite attempts.
  • Gambling with increasingly larger amounts of money for the same level of excitement.
  • Frequently thinking about gambling and ways to obtain money for it.
  • Lying to conceal how much you gamble.
  • Gambling to alleviate feelings of distress, such as anxiety, guilt, or depression.
  • Becoming restless or agitated when attempting to decrease gambling.
  • Losing significant relationships, job opportunities, or educational chances due to gambling.
  • Borrowing money to cover financial deficits caused by gambling.
  • Attempting to recover losses by gambling more.

Problem gambling occurs when gambling disrupts your life, such as being preoccupied with it, spending increasing amounts of time and money, chasing losses, or continuing despite negative consequences. It often coexists with other issues like substance abuse, ADHD, stress, depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, requiring these underlying causes to be addressed for recovery. Despite feeling powerless, overcoming gambling addiction is possible by understanding the facts about gambling problems, which can help in regaining control over your life, mending relationships, and restoring finances.

Compulsive gambling can activate the brain’s reward system similarly to drugs or alcohol, potentially leading to addiction. This disorder often results in significant financial loss, depletion of savings, accumulation of debt, and may drive individuals to hide their behavior or commit theft or fraud to sustain their gambling habit. Despite the challenges in treatment, many individuals with compulsive gambling have successfully found help through professional treatment programs.

Throughout history, gambling has been a popular leisure activity enjoyed by many. However, it was not until 1980 that ‘pathological gambling’ (the old term for compulsive gambling) was officially recognized as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). In 2013, the APA included it in the newly revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) under the category of “Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders.”

Interestingly, compulsive gambling often co-occurs with other mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse problems. This comorbidity makes the treatment approach complex and requires specialized care to address all underlying issues simultaneously.

Gambling Self Help

Overcoming a gambling addiction begins with acknowledging the problem, a challenging step that requires courage, especially after significant losses and damaged relationships. Support is crucial; you’re not alone, as many have successfully broken free from gambling and rebuilt their lives. To address gambling urges, find healthier ways to manage emotions like loneliness, stress, or boredom—consider exercise, new hobbies, or relaxation techniques instead of gambling. Strengthening your support network is vital; lean on friends and family, or expand your circle by engaging in social activities, classes, or volunteering. Joining a peer support group like Gamblers Anonymous can also offer guidance and support through shared experiences and a sponsor system, aiding recovery from addiction.

Preventing compulsive gambling is challenging due to widespread access to lotteries, online platforms, and casinos. Early intervention is key to prevent the worsening of the condition, especially for those with a high risk, including individuals with family and friends prone to gambling issues. Treatment is available and begins with acknowledging the problem. Options include therapy or support groups like Gamblers Anonymous, which promotes abstinence, and medications such as antidepressants or opioid antagonists to manage symptoms. Although compulsive gambling is a chronic condition prone to relapse post-treatment, effective management allows individuals to regain control over their lives.

Addiction treatment for compulsive gambling typically involves a combination of therapies tailored to your needs. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is commonly used to help you identify and change unhealthy gambling behaviors and thought patterns. Financial counselling may also be provided to help you regain control of your finances and manage any debts accrued from gambling.

Support groups like Gamblers Anonymous (GA) have become an integral part of addiction recovery for compulsive gamblers. These groups provide a supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences, strategies, and challenges in a non-judgmental setting.

    Addiction and Mental Health

    Treatment Services








    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specializing in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa, and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance, the organization facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualized care that addresses the physical, mental, and social needs of patients.



    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.


    Inpatient Rehab

    Our rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This rehab option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.

    Outpatient

    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.

    Therapy

    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.


    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.


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