It has been identified that there are four phases of problem gambling and four steps in treating them.
What are the Four Phases in a Gambling Addiction?
- Winning – this phase can start with a huge win which provides great excitement and a positive outlook regards to gambling. Many problem gamblers think that they are skilled at gambling and it is hard to lose. This triggers a larger spend and gambling more often.
- Losing – A preoccupied gambler becomes obsessed with activity and will gamble alone, beg, borrow and steal to get back the money they have lost.
- Desperation – Loss of control over gambling and feeling ashamed of what they are doing they cannot quit. Cutting work, lying to their partner and friends and even arrest for stealing will catch up with them and they can lose everything.
- Hopeless – When a compulsive gambler is at their lowest they think that no one cares and they are beyond help. Suicidal thoughts kick in and they may also start taking drugs of drinking alcohol to drown their sorrows.
What are the Four Steps to Recovery?
- Rename – Don’t beat yourself up, rethink your compulsion to gamble. Give it a different name, such as, a treatable medical condition.
- Reattribute – It is not something that needs blame attached to it. Understanding that your compulsion to gamble has been brought about by a change in your brains wiring. This is something you can learn to control with help from a professional.
- Realign – When you feel compelled to gamble focus on something else. Think about something positive or do something constructive. The feeling will still be there but you need to learn to control it.
- Reassess – Thoughts about gambling should have no value and should be seen as flawed. Get to grips with the fact that they have no power over you.