What You Need to Know About Gambling Addiction

Most gambling problems start with an innocent diversion. Keep playing long enough, however, and it can turn into an unhealthy addiction with serious consequences. Whether it be poker, roulette, or even scratch cards, anytime you play the game of money, it’s not only your cash that’s at risk but your mental health as well.


Gambling addiction (also known as pathological gambling) is the obsessive need to engage in any gambling activity whilst neglecting the potential implications of it. People with gambling addiction often find themselves in casinos, betting houses, and clubhouses, even if they have limited resources with them. It affects their work, their relationships, and their financial standing which can quickly cause turmoil if left untreated.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, do know that there is a way to stop it. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction, how to deal with gambling cravings, and how you can reach out for help to regain control of your life.

Signs and symptoms of gambling addiction

Gambling addiction is often called a hidden illness because the person affected does not exhibit any physical signs like those found in substance addiction. The person may even deny they have a gambling addiction despite engaging in gambling activities frequently. But there are telltale signs that indicate a gambling addiction and these are:

 

  • You’re secretive about your gambling – You start gambling in secrecy because you feel that the people around you don’t understand you or you want to surprise them with a big win.
  • You’re struggling to control your gambling – Whether it’s after work or during the weekends, you constantly find yourself in casinos and gambling clubs. You feel compelled to gamble and spend your last dollar before walking away.
  • You’re running out of money – You start selling your belongings, borrow money from friends/family members, and you may be even tempted to steal from others just to have money for gambling.
  • Your friends and families are worried about you – When you hear your close friends and family members express their concerns about your gambling, then it’s likely that you’ve developed a gambling addiction. 

Dealing with gambling addiction

The most important step in overcoming a gambling addiction is to acknowledge that you have a serious problem. It takes a lot of strength and self-awareness, especially if you’ve suffered broken relationships and lost a lot of money along the way. But despite those shortcomings, you can still turn your life around and establish healthy coping mechanisms that will help free you from the grips of gambling.

Learn how to manage your emotions in positive ways. Do you gamble when you’re bored, lonely, or stressed out? Most people gamble as a way of soothing unpleasant emotions and this can turn into a destructive habit very quickly. Instead of going to the casino, look for other ways to de-stress yourself like taking up new hobbies, exercising, spending time with people who don’t gamble, and more.

Surround yourself with the right people. As the old saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. You are who you choose to be with. If you constantly hang out with people who gamble, you’ll find yourself doing the same thing. It’s about time you surround yourself with people who have your best interest at heart and oftentimes, it’s your closest friends and families who are willing to give you a helping hand.

Treatment options for gambling addiction

Seeking help from a professional does not mean you are weak or incapable. All forms of addiction require the attention of healthcare professionals and mental health experts to kickstart your recovery and help you make better life choices. Each person is unique and you’ll need a recovery program that best fits your situation and preferences.

  • Inpatient or residential treatment and rehab programs. These programs are geared towards individuals with severe gambling addiction (i.e. being unable to stop gambling without round-the-clock support).
  • Treatment for underlying conditions that contribute to gambling addiction like mental health problems ( anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD), and substance abuse disorders. The treatment involves medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. Gambling addiction can also be a symptom of bipolar disorder which should be ruled out by a therapist prior to making a diagnosis.
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) CBT focuses on changing unhealthy gambling thoughts and habit. It also teaches the individual how to resist gambling urges and solve problems that stem from gambling whether it be work, finances, or relationships. CBT can help provide the necessary tools for coping with gambling addiction throughout the person’s lifetime.
  • Family therapy and marriage, career, and credit counselling. These can help the person work through specific issues that have arisen from gambling addiction and lay the foundation for fixing broken relationships, careers, and financial aspirations.

Recovering from gambling addiction requires two things; the willingness to change and the determination to make lasting life changes. As difficult as it can be to see someone suffer from their gambling problems, ultimately the decision to quit has to be theirs. With the right support system and an appropriate recovery program in place, you can free yourself from the shackles of gambling addiction and move forward with a renewed perspective.

Of you require any additional information, do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Calm Rehab, who is the leading rehab centre in Bali, servicing clients from across the globe.

Is There Such a Thing as an Addictive Personality?

Addiction is a complex health issue that is characterised by a strong, uncontrollable craving for a substance or behaviour. Some people enjoy using drugs or drinking alcohol, but do not actively seek them on a regular basis. Others may try a substance out of curiosity and get hooked almost immediately. The question is, why do some people develop an addiction to certain substances or activities while others can take part in them without being addicted?

Anyone can be affected by addiction and there’s this long-standing belief that some individuals simply have addictive tendencies. This is known as an “addictive personality” which, according to some people, is a set of behavioural/emotional patterns that increases one’s risk of addiction.

But is there really such a thing as an addictive personality? Most health experts agree that addiction is a brain disorder and not a personality disorder. To clarify this, the leading rehab in Bali will be discussing what an addictive personality is to find out if it really does exist.

The supposed traits of an addictive personality

There’s no clear definition of what encompasses an addictive personality. Rather, the term is used to describe a set of inherent traits and behaviours that some people believe puts an individual at risk of addiction.

Some of the traits linked to an addictive personality are:

  • impulsiveness
  • risk-seeking behaviour
  • dishonesty
  • lack of responsibility
  • selfishness
  • low self-esteem
  • constant irritability
  • mood swings
  • social isolation

Why is the concept of an “addictive personality” harmful?

At first glance, the idea of an addictive personality might seem reasonable for preventing addiction. If we can identify those who are at risk of addiction, it would be much easier to help them. But narrowing down the complex nature of addiction to a simple personality can prove harmful in several ways:

  • It can make people believe they aren’t at risk of addiction because they don’t exhibit any of the traits related to an “addictive personality”
  • It may convince people who have an addiction that it’s in their nature and there’s nothing they can do about it
  • It suggests that people with addiction automatically exhibit negative traits like manipulating others, lying, etc.

Why is an addictive personality a myth?

Fundamentally, the idea concept of an addictive personality is a myth and this comes from scientific research. Until now, no real evidence suggests that a set of “addictive traits”  makes a person more vulnerable to developing an addiction. The whole spectrum of human character can be found on people with addiction, despite the stereotypes that are associated with it.

In fact, only 18% of addicts have a personality disorder characterised by manipulative behaviour, lying, stealing, and being anti-social. This means that 82% of individuals with addiction do not exhibit the supposed addiction personality.

Real factors that can affect a person’s risk for addiction

Now that we know that an addictive personality is inconclusive at best, what are the actual factors that can increase a person’s risk of addiction? Health professionals have outlined several factors that can lead to addiction and these are:

  • Childhood experiences A person’s upbringing can play a role in developing addiction. Growing up with neglectful parents can increase one’s risk of substance addiction. Experiencing trauma and abuse as a child can potentially lead to substance abuse earlier in life.
  • Biological factors – Genetics accounts for at least 40-60% of someone’s risk of developing addiction. Age can also play a part as teens are at a much higher risk of drug misuse due to peer pressure and curiosity.
  • Environmental factors Another factor in developing addiction is the person’s environment. If they regularly interact with colleagues, friends, or family members that are addicted to drugs, their risk for addicton increases. Another environmental factor is early exposure to illicit substances. Having access to drugs within the neighbourhood, school, or workplace can increase the risk of addiction development.
  • Mental health concerns – Mental health issues like depression or anxiety are linked to addiction and can increase one’s risk of developing the disease. Bipolar disorder or other personality disorders characterised by impulsivity can also contribute to addiction development.

What to do if you are dealing with addiction

While the burdens of addiction can lead to traits that are often associated with an addictive personality, there is not a single personality type that contributes to the disease. Understanding that addiction is a health issue and not a personality issue is very important to let people know that help is available. They don’t have to just accept it as part of their “DNA”.

If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction, do not lose hope. With a team of professional psychologists, medical staff, and counsellors, Calm Rehab provides the support and healing you need to recover from addiction. Our goal is to help you make lasting life changes and pursue a healthier future by taking your recovery one step at a time. For more information about our services, feel free to contact us today and we’ll be happy to hear from you.

Individual Therapy & Group Therapy: What You Need to Know

When it comes to approaching a sustainable recovery, individual therapy and group therapy are two of the most important components that come to mind. While most people may think that these two therapies are at odds with each other, they actually complement one another in many ways than one. It helps to have a better understanding of how these modalities work in order to form an effective treatment plan. This article will discuss what individual therapy and group therapy is all about.

What is individual therapy?

As the name suggests, individual therapy is about a client working with a licensed mental health professional on a one-on-one basis. This private session allows the client to openly discuss their thoughts, emotions, and feelings to gain a better sense of identity and self-knowledge. The therapist creates the entire frame of the therapy from where the sessions will be conducted, how the client’s progress will be measured, and which approach best fit the client’s needs.

Usually, individual therapy is conducted in a therapist’s office, but this can be conducted in almost any outdoor setting provided that privacy can be reasonably maintained. A typical therapy session consists of both the client and the therapist working together and setting goals for the client to commit to. Such goals may include staying sober for the next three days or participating in a new recovery activity.

With modern therapeutic methods, the therapist focuses more on motivational interviewing instead of the traditional confrontational approach to encourage clients to make lasting life changes. Some recovery programs use contingency management to motivate clients and reward their commitment with either tokens or incentives.

There are plenty of benefits to individual therapy and it has enormous potential to positively affect a client’s life. Some of the major advantages of individual therapy are:

  • Learn to establish safe, trustworthy relationships
  • Identify bad habits and work on replacing them with healthy ones
  • Develop accountability for one’s own actions
  • Communicate feelings more openly
  • Improve one’s self-awareness

What is group therapy?

Compared to individual therapy, group therapy gives multiple people the opportunity to learn healthy coping methods, enhance their communication skills, and draw strength from their peers all in one session. For people who’ve succumbed to the grips of addiction, they’ve witnessed their interpersonal relationships become ravaged because of it. With group therapy, individuals can learn from each other’s experiences and use them to maintain strong, healthy relationships in the future.

A licensed mental health professional leads the group therapy session where everyone is encouraged to participate. Like with individual therapy, group therapy follows a detailed program constructed by the therapist with goals and progress in mind. Clients can open up and discuss things related to their struggles, successes, and setbacks. Of course, the therapeutic approach to group therapy is slightly different and the therapist must have specialised training to ensure the sessions are safe, dynamic, and collaborative in nature.

Group therapy sessions reinforce a very important message and that is regardless of the outcome of the treatment, the client is not alone when facing difficulties with recovery. Group therapy is entirely different from mutual or self-help support groups since the latter is often led by community members instead of trained professionals. The wealth of input can help group members better understand their life decisions and become more self-aware of their situations from a different perspective.

The benefits of group therapy come from our innate ability to relate to others. It’s the feelings of connection and understanding that empower each group member to make lasting life changes as they continue on with their recovery. Some of the benefits of group therapy are:

  • Develop better relationship skills
  • Build trust in other people
  • Improve communication skills
  • Be more open to other thoughts and perspectives
  • Learn to set healthy boundaries in relationships
  • How to listen and respond courteously

Which therapy is best for you?

No single treatment modality can cure the disease of addiction. Often times, it’s a combination of multiple therapies in order to improve one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state. This means that individual therapy and group therapy are not mutually exclusive. Instead, they form a yin-and-yang-type bond to give clients the best chance of recovery. If we’re talking about weighing the benefits of both modalities, it all comes down to these factors that are specific to you:

  • Your personal preference
  • Your needs and requirements
  • Which therapy you feel most comfortable with
  • The amount of support you receive
  • Desire for accountability

Individual therapy sets the stage for in-depth self-reflection while group therapy is more towards establishing a meaningful connection. In addition to both therapies, advanced treatment programs incorporate other modalities such as medication therapy, exercise therapy, expressive therapy, and nutritional therapy to help maximise their benefits.

You don’t have to choose a single therapy for your recovery. You’ll find that as you go through various modalities, you’ll gain a better understanding of yourself, the people around you, and your own addiction. This, in turn, will boost your chances of success and get you one step closer to achieving sobriety for the long haul. Individual and group therapy are equally effective and when combined together, can amplify their effects and help people make lasting life changes.