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A Way of Life Addiction Advise
 
Gambling addiction is the worst form that you can have. This may seem a big statement but with most other forms, like drug addiction, it will be quite easy to spot and most likely seriously effect only one person (of course family members will be affected). With addiction to gambling the person can seem perfectly normal, in fact more active than normal. They retain all their thinking powers and develop tremendously ingenious ways to cover their activities and get money from their family, their friends and their business associates. This can often build to very serious amounts that affect many other people and place them in financial ruin.

A more subtle problem is the fact that it is more socially acceptable to gamble ruinously and the addiction is often not treated as a problem at all. A lives work of business and family can be trashed without raising peoples awareness, as if it was a life choice that someone made, rather than an uncontrollable slide. If you can answer YES to just a few of the questions in the section test yourself then start looking to reduce your eagerness to gamble. If you answer 7 or more then pick up the phone and dial one of the numbers in contacts.
 
 What is it? Top Test Yourself
 
Gambling addiction cannot be completely defined within a few paragraphs but the basic weakness within all people that makes them vulnerable is guilt and guilt punishment. Humans are weak and wonderfully susceptible to their own psyche and once out of control only external assistance is able to stop the self perpetuating spiral.

Humans feel guilt for things they perceive as being wrong and caused by them. The response of the brain is either to shut out the memory or punish itself to gain forgiveness. If the guilt is over money lost through gambling then the punishment is often to gamble more and lose even more. Emotional highs are got through the intensity gained from gambling, losing being intense, painful, guilt inducing and ultimately stimulating to the brain. Losing is therefore addictive and winning is not.

Stubborn people are the most susceptible to problem or addictive gambling. Their guilt at losing even small amounts far exceeds the true size of the loss and admitting any weakness is very difficult for them. Consequently a serious problem can grow very rapidly from a small downturn in their fortunes.

Rude and aggressive people are frequently welcomed by casinos even at the risk of upsetting other customers because the people running these businesses know that unfriendly people are the most stubborn and most likely to become seriously hooked on gambling.

There are countless true stories of people (men and women) who start with casual gambling and quickly progress into continous high level gambling that consumes their business and family house. No matter how rich they are it is not too much to lose gambling.

While scientific research on both male and female gamblers is sparse, existing studies show that gender differences are critical when it comes to understanding and treating compulsive gamblers: Women become problem gamblers because they are lonely, depressed or anxious. Their descent is usually swift. They are more likely to be addicted to slot machines, which they can play alone. They see the slots as an escape from personal problems, such as marital unhappiness, divorce or the death of a loved one.

Female compulsive gamblers tend to be older — their average age is 45 compared with 35 for men. Women begin gambling later in life — the average age they start is 31, compared with 18 for men. For most women with gambling problems, the object is to zone out, to give themselves a kind of timeout from their lives. Its possible to have a love affair with a machine that is not threatening, doesn't ask you any questions or make demands.

When a reporter recently approached an elderly woman at the Atlantic City Hilton playing two slot machines at once — the same ones she plays every week — the Staten Island woman, who asked not to be named, said: "Meet my boyfriends."

Men, on the other hand, are drawn to the thrill of the big blackjack or sports bet, trying to prove they can beat the house or the bookmakers. Experts say the men are typically narcissistic; their high comes from being the center of attention. As the losses pile up and gamblers begin the descent into a world of lies, debt and destroyed relationships, the differences between men and women fade.

Pathological gambling was recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as an impulse-control disorder in 1980. Experts say it can take two to six years for the disease to develop, as compulsive gamblers go through three distinct stages: the high from winning; the chase to reach that high again, which inevitably leads to losing; and finally, desperation — when a person will do anything to get the money to keep betting. For women, the descent is quicker, experts say.

Good Gambling advice is stay away from it completely if you are stubborn. This of course is easier said than done and friends of those just getting into gambling should confront them if they are too stubborn to recognise a problem.
 
 Test Yourself What is it? Contacts
 
TWENTY QUESTIONS
1.  Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
2.  Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
3.  Did gambling affect your reputation?
4.  Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
5.  Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
6.  Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
7.  After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
8.  After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
9.  Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
12. Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
20. Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.
GGG
 
 Contacts Test Yourself  
 
1. Gamblers Anonymous (GA) Down
 
Gamblers Anonymous, c/o CVS Building, 5 Trafford Court, off Trafford Way,Doncaster, DN1 1PN
This is a self-help fellowship of compulsive gamblers wanting to address their gambling problems. The sister organisation, GamAnon runs groups for partners/families of compulsive gamblers. Groups are held weekly throughout the country.
 
Main Telephone : 020 7384 3040 Telephone Lines  
Manchester 0161 976 5000
Sheffield 0114 262 0026
Birmingham 0121 233 1335
Ulster 0287 135 1329
   
   
http://www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk/ Website  
 
 
2. GamCare     Up
 
They provide information, advice and counselling to individuals, their family and friends who have concerns about problem gambling.
 
Help Line : 0845 6000 133 Help Line  
   
GamCare
2nd Floor
7-11 St John's Hill
London SW11 1TR
Postal Address  
Tel : 020 7801 7000
Fax : 020 7801 7033  
     
http://www.gamcare.org.uk Website  
 
 
 
 
 
 
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