Looking into the casino for the first time or pressing the slot machine button for the first time, a person does not think that very quickly excitement, courage and euphoria can be replaced by fear, hopelessness and loneliness. So quietly, you can become a slave to the gaming industry – a gamer.
Gambling addiction – this dependence on gambling, including computer games, when a person loses interest in everything that is not connected with the game. The game becomes the centerpiece of his life, the most desired “emotional drug”.
People of different ages (children, teenagers and quite mature people) and of different social status suffer from gambling.
Stages of gaming addiction development
At the first, initial stage, a person plays periodically, does not raise his stakes, dreams of winnings and often wins, sometimes the winnings are quite large.
During this period, if desired, a person can still abandon the game.
In the second stage a person often leaves work to have more time to play. Excitement increases, certain superstitions and rituals associated with the game appear. All funds received from the game are returned to the game. The game “addictive” so that to abandon it alone is very difficult.
In the third stage the game becomes the center of all life. The person during the game is experiencing a strong mental excitement. With restrictions and prohibitions a person shows anger, irritation, rage. Rates are constantly growing, but the goal of the game is no longer winning or eliminating debt, but the process itself, and money is perceived only as a symbol of the game. At this stage, the reputation of a person, as a rule, is hopelessly flawed, “cracking at the seams” of relationships with friends and relatives. A person often feels remorse, but tries to justify himself by shifting the blame to others.
Independently cope with the addiction, he can not.
In the fourth stage periods of abstaining from the game are very small and only forcefully, for example, a power outage. Even in his free time, a dependent person is immersed in gaming fantasies, searching for money. He begins to deceive close people to bring money or valuables out of the house, borrows cash to pay off debts and pay losses. For the sake of his hobby is ready to go even on a crime. A person feels hopeless, thinks about suicide and even makes attempts. At this stage, there may be problems with law enforcement agencies, addiction to alcohol, emotional collapse and symptoms of insanity.
Without the help of a specialist (psychotherapist, psychologist) to cope with the addiction is no longer possible.
Implications of gaming addiction
- constant conflicts with close people, family breakup;
- loss of friends, work, loss of social status;
- large cash debt (if the game was played for money);
- destruction of physical and mental health;
- degradation of the individual.
Treatment of gambling
At the initial stage of gambling addiction, you can try to cope with the problem yourself without the help of experts:
- stabilize the situation in the family, avoid conflicts, scandals that only exacerbate gambling;
- “switch” a dependent person to outdoor activities, meeting friends, traveling, other hobbies;
- raise his status in the family, at work – let him feel that he can be meaningful and necessary not only during the game, but also in real life; prove that life outside the game can also be interesting.
If gambling addiction has reached the second, and even more so the third or fourth stage, specialized assistance is needed from a psychotherapist who will offer a comprehensive treatment taking into account the personality characteristics:
- make an analysis of the reasons that led to gambling addiction;
- conduct psycho-correction, teach self-control and self-regulation;
- develop an individual drug treatment regimen.
For the treatment to be successful and the person can return to a full life, full of happiness, pleasure and love, but without games, one important condition is necessary: a gambler must understand that he is addicted and accept this.
Tips for family members and friends of a gambler
- First of all, protect yourself and take care of yourself: talk about it with a friend or a specialist.
- Use your energy to change your own situation, and not the situation of a person who is addicted to gambling.
- Do not take this behavior of your friend, relative, husband (wife) as a betrayal, although you have the right to such feelings.
- You may be angry, but do not try to hide it. You need to learn how to properly exit your feelings.
- Do not try to establish control over the life of the gamer – it does not help and will only make you suffer more.
- Refer to a gambling addict as an equal. Do not try to protect it.
- Give him the opportunity to take responsibility for his behavior: let him explain with creditors and at work. You should not, by helping him, resort to lies and deception.
- Do not borrow gamers money and do not pay his debts.
- Seek legal, financial and other advice to know what you can do in your situation.
- Frankly tell about your feelings to a person suffering from addiction to gambling.
- Support him in his struggle with addiction, but do not take him burdensome. You may have to say: “I want to help you, I will be there, but I can not do it for you.”
Know that the entire gaming system is based on players ’cash. It is at their expense that the owners of casinos, betting shops or online games get richer, ruining families of people addicted to gambling.
Do not believe in easy money, it is self-deception, which sucks people with their heads like quicksand. Always remember this and under any circumstances remain the masters of your life!
According to the materials of the State Institution “Brest Regional Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health”, healthcare institution “Brest Regional Psychoneurological Dispensary”