Gambling addiction, also called compulsive gambling or gambling disorder, is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life.
Gambling stimulates the brain’s reward system and releases dopamine in a very similar manner to drugs or alcohol. It is a progressive addiction, meaning the user will develop a tolerance and continually need more and more to get a ‘fix’ which means needing to take bigger risks and receive greater wins. Gambling addiction can lead to symptoms of withdrawal when separated from the thrill, much like an individual with a substance abuse dependency struggles when separated from their drug of choice.
Symptoms of gambling addiction include:
- Finding yourself preoccupied with gambling, constantly planning when and how to gamble and fantasising about gambling.
- The urge to continually increase the amount of money you gamble to experience a high.
- Feeling anxious, irritable, or losing sleep when you try to stop gambling.
- Gambling to escape difficult emotions such as guilt, anxiety or stress.
- Gambling in secret or minimising the extent of your gambling to loved ones.
Like any addiction, people can lose control of their gambling behaviour. The need to feel ‘high’ can lead them to gamble more money than they want to or can afford to. This process can result in destroyed relationships, grave financial loss and difficult feelings such as shame, guilt or despair.
Deciding to go to a rehab or clinic for gambling addiction is never an easy decision. At Paracelsus Recovery, our gambling addiction treatment programme is built upon our pillars of harm-reduction, addressing psychological and physical imbalances and providing you with the specific psychotherapeutic treatment you need.
We believe that working with individuals in an effective, non-judgemental manner in surroundings where they feel comfortable is key for successful treatment. As such, when an individual begins to excessively depend on an external substance or behaviour, they can be suffering from excessive internal imbalances. These include biochemical imbalances, emotional issues, trauma, relational issues or unsustainable volumes of stress. Our dedicated and empathic team will work exclusively with the client to identify these issues and help restore their wellbeing.
We provide gambling addiction treatment in both Zurich and in London.