Gambling addiction- also known as compulsive gambling is a type of impulse-control disorder. Compulsive gamblers can’t control the impulse to gamble, even when they know their gambling is hurting themselves or their loved ones.
We are all prone to habits – it is a perfectly normal part of life. A problem arises when these habits start to affect your daily life, emotions and relationships or tip into addictive behaviours.
Sometimes addictions can be used as a way to mask other psychological or emotional problems. Ultimately, having difficulty controlling or becoming dependent on behaviours or substances that have harmful effects on one or others can have a detrimental consequences on one’s everyday life. One’s addictive behaviours can cause feelings of inadequacy and/or low self-esteem which might cause one to rely more on one’s addiction. One may find oneself caught in a pattern of repetition, much like a revolving door. In these cases it becomes vital to address all the issues involved.
The term “self-medicating” is being used more and more to describe the way in which people are dealing with a problem in their lives. When we feel under pressure, overwhelmed or just that something is not right in our lives and that causes pain and distress it is only human to gravitate towards something available to us to ease our discomfort. You feel bad but don’t know why, so you find something that makes you feel better. It is very unhelpful to label people with addictions as those who can’t help themselves, when in reality they have tried to find a way to support themselves but have, sadly, chosen an unhealthy way to do it.
Addiction can take many different forms and affect people in many different ways. Exploration and discussion may help you to understand why you are behaving in this manner. Please consider contacting you GP or a trained counsellor if you feel you are struggling with an addiction or addictive behaviour.
Here's a list of articles on gambling addiction you might find helpful.
What happens inside the brain of a gambling addict?
What happens inside the brain of a gambling addict when they make a bet - and can the secret to their addiction be found within the brain itself?
What is Gambling Addiction?
Gambling is an activity that is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. For most people who choose to enjoy a little wager, it never becomes more than an enjoyable hobby. However, some individuals may find that they cannot control their gambling habits. When gambling goes beyond being harmless fun and begins creating serious problems in someone's life, that person may be showing gambling addiction symptoms.
Panorama: Why Are Gambling Machines Addictive?
This personal and brave investigation by a woman whose partner killed himself after becoming addicted to gambling showed how our high streets have become gaming arcades of misery.
Poems and Quotes to Inspire You
Dare we hope? We dare.
Can we hope? We can.
Should we hope? We must, because to do otherwise is to waste the most precious of gifts given so freely by God to all of us. So when we do die, it will be with hope and it will be easy and our hearts will not be broken.
Andy Ripley – England and Lions rugby legend, often described as one of the most colourful personalities in the history of English rugby
Charities and support groups
Charities and support groups
Below you will find a comprehensive list of charities and support groups that offer help and assistance to anyone who is struggling with this mental health issue
Gam-Anon is a fellowship of men and women who are husbands, wives, partners, relatives or close friends of someone with a gambling problem who also have been affected by this gambling problem
GamCare is the leading national provider of information, advice, support and free counselling for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling. Our services are confidential, non-judgemental and expert.
Helpline: 0808 8020 133, 8am to midnight, 7 days a week
We provide advice, education and high quality innovative therapeutic support to problem gamblers and those affected by problem gambling, through residential, online and outreach services. We also run a unique service offering online support and advice to problem gamblers outside Great Britain.
Have I got a Problem?
HaveiGotAproblem.com is a free online resource to help you understand issues or concerns you may have about mental health or addiction issues.
This site was created to give the public information to help them understand mental health and addiction issues and to assist people in making better informed decisions about their life and personal choices.
Charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.
Parents Helpline 0808 802 5544 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm
SANE services provide practical help, emotional support and specialist information to individuals affected by mental health problems, their family, friends and carers.
Helpline 0845 767 8000
The Salvation Army works closely with addiction referral services as well as providing specialist detox centres in the UK. This is complemented by rehabilitation and support programmes.
Elefriends (run by Mind)
Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself.
We all know what it's like to struggle sometimes, and this is a safe place to listen, share and be heard. Whether you're feeling good right now, or really low, it's a safe place to share experiences and listen to others.
Shared experiences and perspectives are valuable and powerful. In this way Elefriends don't just get help, they give help too. In the good times and the bad.
Off The Record
We believe that young people need places to go which are easy to access, where you are treated with respect, and where you can get support and information to help you make your own life choices. Our services are friendly and welcoming – about 1,000 new young people visit us every year. Available in the Richmond borough.
Time to Change
Our aim is to start a conversation… or hopefully thousands of conversations.
We want to empower people with mental health problems to feel confident talking about the issue without facing discrimination. And we want the three quarters of the population who know someone with a mental health problem to talk about it too.
ASCA is an established local voluntary sector organisation providing (c. 1990), confidential, 1-to-1 counselling and advice in Richmond and Kingston. We do not charge fees but ask for an appropriate weekly donation from our service users, this ensures people have access to our service whatever their financial circumstance.
- 1-to-1 counselling for those affected by alcohol and substance misuse
- 1-to-1 counselling for the affected others of those with addiction problems
- 1-to-1 counselling for behavioural addictions (such as sex addiction and eating problems)
- 1-to-1 counselling for those facing issues in recovery
- 1-to-1 counselling for a wide range of underyling issues (such as mental health issues, relationship issues, bereavement and loss)
- Group therapy for family members, carers and friends
- Group therapy for those with an alcohol and/or drug misuse problem
- Health and Well Being Programme
GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to do the same. GA members offer the hand of friendship to anyone who is looking to try and stop gambling.
Gambling Therapy is a free online service that provides practical advice and emotional support to people affected by problem gambling who reside outside Great Britain. Gambling Therapy is part of the Gordon Moody Association.
Mind - For Better Mental Health
We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. We won't give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.
Student Minds is the UK's student mental health charity. We believe that peer support can change the state of student mental health. Our vision is for students to take action to foster an environment where everyone has the confidence to talk and listen to each other, the skills to support one another and the knowledge to look after their own mental health.
Helpline: 08444 775 774 Mon-Fri 9:30am - 5.30pm (calls subject to charge)
SupportLine provides a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue. The Helpline is primarily a preventative service and aims to support people before they reach the point of crisis. It is particularly aimed at those who are socially isolated, vulnerable, at risk groups and victims of any form of abuse. SupportLine is a member of the Helplines Association. SupportLine also provides support by email and post.
Helpline: 01708 765 200
Get Connected is the UK's free, confidential helpline service for young people under 25 who need help, but don't know where to turn.
Helpline: 0808 808 4994
Open from 11am - 11pm every day
Counselling Directory aims to be the leading service for providing counselling advice and information - connecting those in distress with the largest support network in the UK.
Offers support to anyone parenting or helping to raise children, from newborn babies to young adults. There are free telephone and email helplines, parenting courses and information leaflets. The website offers lots of advice, real-life stories and relevant news as well as a helpful A-Z of related topics.
Helpline: 0800 800 2222 (9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday;10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday)
The Mix is the UK’s leading support service for young people. We are here to help you take on any challenge you’re facing - from mental health to money, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs. Talk to us via online, social or our free, confidential helpline.
Freephone 0808 808 4994