How to help someone with a gambling addiction: 6 tips to help them

Gambling addiction is part of behavioral addictions; the subjects who present it feel an irrational urge to play and to play. It is important to support these people, beyond the psychotherapy sessions, with the intention that they can regain control of their actions.

In this article we will look at various tips on how to help someone with a gambling addictionSince in most cases the symptoms of drug addiction do not go away completely, but they can be controlled so that those who suffer from it have a good quality of life.

    What is gambling addiction?

    To understand how to help a person with a gambling addiction, you need to know what this psychological disorder is. It is a behavioral addiction in which the person loses control of their actions and has an uncontrollable urge to participate in any type of game or to place bets.

    In these cases, it is not behavior motivated by the consumption of an addictive substance; what happens is that the subject’s natural reward system is altered so that by participating in any random play activity there is an irrational gratification which leads him to want to have this experience more often.

    Participating in the game and anticipating this feeling generates a need so powerful that a lot of time and resources are invested in satisfying it. The fun increases when the subject wins something in the game or in bettingForcing you to start justifying your participation in more of these activities.

    As in all cases of addiction, it is difficult for the subject to realize that he has a problem and that he needs help. In general, before you seek or accept counseling, you have to have a deeply damaging experience in which the person feels they have bottomed out and cannot continue to maintain their lifestyle.

    Tips for helping a player

    In the following list of tips, we’ll go over some strategic tools to help someone with a gambling addiction that are useful for friends and family of those going through this addictive behavior disorder.

    1. Support therapy

    Psychological therapy gives good results in the field of behavioral addictionsAnd if the subject attends in the company of someone who is interested in their improvement, the process can be much faster and more efficient, since the patient will feel more secure from the start.

    One of the most successful therapies when it comes to play is cognitive behavioral therapy, which seeks to change the subject’s maladaptive thoughts and replace them with adaptive thoughts, and to do the same with their behavioral patterns when they do. interact with the environment.

    On the other hand, the previous step of convincing the person who has to go to psychotherapy sessions is also very important; for that there is a need to recommend and report the benefits of professional assistance. If you do not go to the psychologist, the chances of recovery are minimal.

      2. Suppose you have a problem

      Another of the first steps in being able to help those who have a gambling addiction is to understand that the person has a problem and that they are not being rational in taking action, especially when it comes to gambling. activities involving gambling. money management.

      The compression will be important to put us in this person’s shoes and feel his frustration with empathy, without making value judgments that only make him feel worse than he probably already feels thanks to his lack of control over his life.

        3. Ask questions without judging

        A good way to help the subject get free is ask him questions about his feelings and his situation with the game, But without making her feel like a bad or irresponsible person. The idea is that he himself may come to the conclusion that receiving help could improve his quality of life.

        Outraged, asking will help us to get detailed information about personal reasons for which the subject seeks refuge in gambling or betting; It is important to note that not all players present their addiction in the same way.

        4. Ask him to relate the game to his problems.

        As we have read above, it is complicated for a person with a gambling addiction to be rational and relate their behavior to the problems they present in other areas of their life. What we need to do is give it clear, everyday examples where gambling is primarily responsible for its bad times and moments of discomfort or financial problems.

        For example, citing anecdotes of times he was unpleasant and his gambling behavior was the cause of his ailments, making him see that if he starts to avoid gambling, their problems will begin to decrease in mass measurement in the very short term. It is important to stress the latter: overcoming addiction must be based on concrete motivations that are easy to recognize right after adopting a healthier and more adaptive lifestyle.

        5. Provide information about your addiction

        The more information a person has about what affects them, the more likely they are to choose to put aside what hurts them. It is important to provide this information appropriately, without making the subject feel like a patient we are caring for.

        What we are looking for is to make the person understand the most fundamental aspects of their addiction, so that they can better understand the reason for some of their behaviors and have the will to seek the necessary solutions. In the event that gambling occurs alongside other dependenciesWhat is very common, it is also necessary to report on the side effects of these substances and possible solutions provided by mental health professionals.

        6. Help him find new interests

        This involves changing the subject’s focus, so that they don’t feel that their only goal is to forcefully or necessary quit the game, but that motivates him to get new things for himself so that he can feel satisfied without having to constantly gamble or bet.

        For example, help him find new hobbies that don’t involve gambling, like reading or watching movies, among others. We can also find out if the person is interested in taking courses or other studies and encourage them to do so.

        Bibliographical references:

        • American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
        • Black, D .; Shaw, M. (2008). Psychiatric comorbidity associated with pathological gambling. Psychiatric time. 25 (12).

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