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Players at online casinos are just as susceptible to gambling addiction problems as those who frequent land based casinos. In fact, there may be even more chance of developing an online gambling addiction because it can be done totally in private, with no one else having a clue as to what the gambler is doing. Play is accessible with just a mouse click and an electronic deposit. Games are fast and fun, with plenty of diversity from slot play to roulette, and table games like blackjack. Multi-player poker games are also available at online casinos.
Often the problem does not surface until banking difficulties arise. Overdrafts, denials of withdrawals, and having to resort to payday loans to make it through until a next payday all are signs of a possible online gambling addiction.
Other signs of gambling addiction include playing higher bets, lying to others about losses and constantly thinking about online casino gambling play. Online casinos do not help those with online gambling addiction because they continue to email special offers and free play teases to players.
The solution to online gambling addiction is the same as that for any type of gambling addiction. The player must first admit to a problem and be willing to try to address that problem. Gamblers Anonymous offers wise information about gambling addiction problems. There are local meetings that can help a problem gambler turn away from this devastating habit. Online casino games can be fun, but players should know that it also could become a gambling addiction.
A gambling addiction is often an addiction that can go unnoticed until everything is lost. Someone who suffers from a gambling addiction has an internal and often unconscious need that makes them have to gamble. There are many people who suffer from a gambling addiction and hide it from their friends, family, and coworkers. They feel a great shame when it comes to their addiction and do not want anyone to know what is going on. People sometimes suffer from the addiction so badly that they may lose their homes, vehicles, jobs, and even their families over their addiction. There is gambling help available to those who need it. There are groups that meet anonymously to support those suffering from gambling addictions. Family members of those suffering from the addiction need to know that this is something that they cannot control. They need support and understanding in order to be able to overcome this addiction. Some people may end up needing an intervention from those that love them to help them to see that they have a problem. Being prepared when having intervention is essential. It is important to make sure that all topics are discussed and that solutions are given to help the addict know that they can beat the addiction.
Gambling addiction is all too real and can destroy your life when it runs unchecked. The Minnesota Department of Human Services estimates at least two million adults in the United States fall under the category of a "pathological gambler." Many may feel a gambling problem is not a real addiction, but those who suffer from a gambling addiction realize it is just as real and devastating as any drug or alcohol addiction.
Understanding your gambling addiction isn't something you can simply wish away or just "get over." Admitting your problem is the first step to seeking help and starting down the road to recovery. The problem is known as "compulsive gambling" and as a gambling addict, you may find it impossible at first to resist these impulses.
When you're ready to control your gambling problem, start by telling a trusted friend or family member about your gambling addiction. Getting it out in the open takes away some of the stress and shows you're ready to get help. Next, find a way to distract yourself and stay away from casinos while you seek treatment. Ask friends to hang out, start up a new hobby, or keep a journal to clear your head. When you're ready, find a counselor or therapist who can walk you through this addiction. Often a gambling addiction arises from depression or a lack of fulfillment in your life. Finding this void and filling it can get you over the worst of your problem and back on track and give you the strength to break your gambling addiction for good.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|