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  • Writer's pictureAlexander James

How Therapy Can Help People Suffering From Gambling Addiction

Gambling is one of the most common and most lucrative industries in the UK, but behind the bright lights, spinning slots and hopes of a big win are stories of compulsion.

The gambling and gaming industry is worth over £14bn, and for most people consists of little more than a lottery ticket, betting on a football match or an occasional visit to the slot machine, never spending more than they can afford to lose.

However, there are also problem gamblers, who interact with games of chance in a similar fashion to substance addictions such as alcohol, and much like substance abuse can often begin as an escape or a coping mechanism but can become an overriding compulsion.

Often, this coincides with a change in luck. Once addicted to the ‘high’ of winning, there can be a desire to continue chasing bigger and bigger wins, but unlike someone who calls it quits after losing will keep chasing to try and win back what they lost.

This does not always take the form of conventional gambling either, with “loot boxes” in video games and cryptocurrency speculation also being forms of gambling addiction.

Consequences can seep into real life as negative financial, emotional and professional consequences begin to pile up, which is often the point where a gambler makes the choice to try and stop or is encouraged to stop by those closest to them.

Thankfully, as with other forms of addiction, an online therapist can provide help through the use of talking therapies, as well as helping a gambler to set attainable goals for themselves and begin the healing process.

Beyond this, they can also encourage measures such as setting up self-exclusion systems that automatically will stop you from setting up gambling accounts or access to resources to help with money and debt management.

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