Counselling for Gambling Problems.

In today’s world, gambling is just a click away. Whether it’s the lottery in Louisiana, scratch cards in Seattle, or online gambling from anywhere, it’s become incredibly accessible.

Technology has made it possible to indulge in these activities from the comfort of our homes, through the internet, interactive television, or a simple phone call. While gambling may seem exciting, for many, it’s a slippery slope that can lead to emotional and financial ruin.

The rise of online gambling, especially through smartphones, has made it even more pervasive. This easy access has brought about a surge in gambling-related addiction, anxiety and depression, particularly among women.

But here’s the important message: there is hope. It’s never too late to seek help and find a way out of the mess that gambling addiction can create. Reaching out for support can lead to a healthier, happier life, mending not only your finances but also your relationships with those around you.

Gambling, like any other addiction is very well understood and the tools and strategies which help people with any addiction, work well to set people free from potential ruin.

Many kinds of gambling problems.

Gambling has been around for a very long time, and it has changed a lot over the years. Here’s a simple look at how it has developed:

Long Ago: People in ancient times liked to gamble too. They played games with dice and bet on things like sports and events. This happened in places like Greece, Rome, and Egypt.

In China: Gambling has been a big part of Chinese culture for thousands of years. They had games like keno, and they also played a big role in creating playing cards.

Medieval Times: In the Middle Ages, especially in Europe, people got more organised about gambling. They started using playing cards, and they even had lotteries to raise money for important projects.

In Early America: When Europeans came to America, they brought their gambling games with them. They used gambling to fund things like building roads and bridges.

The 1800s: The 1800s were a big time for gambling. Casinos started popping up in Europe and the United States. They even invented slot machines in the late 1800s, which was a big deal.

Prohibition: In the early 1900s, some places in the U.S. banned gambling because of Prohibition (a time when alcohol was illegal). But this actually made illegal gambling grow.

Modern Times: In the mid-1900s, some U.S. states started making gambling legal again. Nevada became famous for its casinos, especially in a place called Las Vegas. Now, gambling is allowed in many places around the world, in different forms like casinos and lotteries. And with the internet, you can even gamble online.

Online Gambling: In recent years, the internet changed gambling a lot. You can now bet and play games online, which has made it easier for people to gamble. This has both good and bad sides, as it’s fun for some but also has some problems that need to be addressed.

Throughout history, people have had mixed feelings about gambling. Some see it as a fun pastime, while others worry it can cause problems. The way we gamble keeps changing with society, technology, and rules.

If gambling is causing problems in your life, that’s a sign it’s a problem. Here are some signs to watch out for:

Feeling really happy when you win, but then wanting to keep playing to win even more. And feeling really down when you lose.

People close to you might notice changes in your mood, like going from happy to sad quickly. They might also see signs like you asking for money a lot or not wanting to be around them as much. This can be scary for both you and them.

It’s normal to feel worried about these things because they can be a signal that something is wrong. It’s a good idea to talk to an online counselor who knows about gambling problems.

Other signs of a gambling problem could be:

  • Owning a lot of debt or borrowing money often.
  • Spending less time with family, doing hobbies, or taking care of important things.
  • Not letting others see your bank statements or phone bills.
  • Being unusually generous at times.
  • Selling your stuff.
  • Getting involved in illegal activities.

If you notice these signs, it’s important to get help and talk to someone who can support you in dealing with the problem.

Gambling addiction mostly affects a person’s thoughts and behaviors, but there can be physical symptoms too. Here are some simple things to look out for:

Trouble Sleeping: Gambling worries can keep you up at night, making it hard to get a good sleep.

Weight Changes: Stress from gambling problems might lead to weight gain or loss because it can affect your appetite.

Health Issues: Gambling addiction can cause physical health problems, like headaches, stomachaches, or even heart issues because of the stress and anxiety.

Restlessness: Feeling jittery or restless is common when you’re dealing with a gambling problem.

Fatigue: You might feel really tired all the time because gambling issues can be mentally exhausting.

Neglecting Self-Care: People with gambling addiction may not take good care of themselves, like not eating well or missing doctor’s appointments.

Remember, these physical signs can vary from person to person, and not everyone with a gambling problem will have them. If you or someone you know is experiencing these signs along with gambling issues, it’s essential to seek help and support.

When someone has a gambling addiction, it doesn’t just affect their actions, it also messes with their emotions. Here are some simple ways to understand the emotional symptoms:

Stress and Worry: You might feel really stressed and worried all the time, especially about money and gambling.

Guilt and Shame: After gambling, you might feel really guilty or ashamed, especially if you lost a lot of money or lied about it.

Irritability: You might get easily annoyed or angry, even over small things.

Depression: Feeling really sad and down is common with gambling addiction. It can make you lose interest in things you used to enjoy.

Anxiety: You might feel anxious or nervous, especially when thinking about gambling or the problems it’s causing.

Loneliness: Gambling addiction can make you feel isolated from friends and family, which can lead to loneliness.

Desperation: Sometimes, people with this addiction feel desperate and like there’s no way out.

If you or someone you know is dealing with these emotions because of gambling, it’s crucial to reach out for help and support. You don’t have to face it alone.

When someone has a gambling addiction, it messes with their mind too. Here’s a simple way to understand the mental symptoms:

Obsession: You can’t stop thinking about gambling, and it feels like it’s taking over your thoughts.

Risky Behavior: You might start taking big risks, like betting more money than you can afford to lose.

Denial: Even when things are going bad because of gambling, you might deny it or not see the problem clearly.

Losing Control: You feel like you can’t control your gambling, and it’s taking charge of your life.

Chasing Losses: When you lose money, you might try to win it back by gambling even more, and this can become a never-ending cycle.

Neglecting Responsibilities: You might start ignoring your job, family, or other important things because gambling becomes the main focus.

Lying: You may lie to hide how much you’re gambling or how much money you’re losing.

These mental symptoms can be tough to deal with, but there’s help available. If you or someone you know is going through this, it’s essential to reach out to professionals who can provide support and guidance.

You may wonder why people choose to gamble? Sure, winning money or prizes is one reason, but there are other motivations too:

Taking Risks: Humans like the thrill of taking risks, and gambling gives us that excitement. It’s like wondering if your numbers will come up in a game or if your favorite team will win. This sense of anticipation can be a lot of fun and make us feel alive.

Escaping Reality: Sometimes, life can be tough, and gambling provides an escape. When we’re in a casino, at an amusement arcade, or betting online, it’s like we’re in a whole different world, surrounded by different people, sounds, and emotions. It’s a way to break away from our everyday routine.

Glamorous Image: Movies and ads often make gambling look stylish and glamorous. We see characters in films enjoying a night at a casino or a day at the races, and it seems like something only the fashionable and trendy people do.

Social Connection: Gambling is a part of our culture, and many people participate in it in different ways. Some learn card games with their parents, others meet friends for bingo nights, and some get into horse racing, poker, or football betting. It’s a social activity that brings people together.

Remember, while gambling can be exciting and enjoyable, it’s important to do it responsibly and within your means.

If you or someone you care about is caught up in gambling problems, there’s a way out of this tough situation. Here’s a simple guide to help:

For Yourself:

recognise the Problem: The first step is admitting there’s an issue. Acknowledge that gambling is causing problems in your life.

Seek Support: Don’t try to tackle this alone. Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist who can understand and support you.

Set Limits: If you want to keep gambling, set clear limits on how much time and money you’ll spend. Stick to these limits.

Find Alternatives: Discover new activities and hobbies to fill the time you used to spend gambling. It can help keep your mind off it.

Financial Control: Get a handle on your finances. Create a budget and avoid easy access to money for gambling.

For Someone You Know:

Be Understanding: Approach the person with care and understanding. Don’t judge or criticize.

Offer Support: Let them know you’re there to support them in their journey to recovery.

Suggest Help: Encourage them to seek professional help, like therapy or counseling, specifically for gambling addiction.

Set Boundaries: If they’re causing harm to themselves or others, it’s okay to set boundaries to protect yourself and them.

Avoid Enabling: Don’t provide money or resources that can be used for gambling. Encourage healthy choices instead.

Remember, getting out of gambling problems can be tough, but with the right support and determination, recovery is possible.

If breaking free from gambling addiction feels overwhelming for you or someone you know, it’s essential to understand that help is available, and seeking support is a crucial step toward recovery. Here’s what you can do:

1. Reach Out to Professionals: Consider seeking help from trained professionals who specialise in addiction and gambling counseling. They have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process.

2. Support Groups: Joining a support group for individuals dealing with gambling addiction can be incredibly helpful. These groups provide a safe space to share experiences, receive encouragement, and learn from others who are on the same journey.

3. Talk to Friends and Family: Open up to your friends and family about the struggle. They can provide emotional support and may be willing to help you access professional help.

4. Self-Exclusion Programs: Many casinos and online gambling platforms offer self-exclusion programs that allow you to voluntarily ban yourself from gambling for a set period. This can be an effective step to prevent further gambling.

5. Financial Counseling: If financial issues are a significant concern, consider financial counseling to help you manage debts and develop a budget.

6. Helplines and Hotlines: There are gambling addiction helplines and hotlines staffed by professionals who can provide immediate support, advice, and referrals to treatment centers.

7. Stay Committed: Breaking free from gambling addiction can be challenging, but it’s essential to stay committed to the recovery process. Relapses can happen, but they shouldn’t discourage you from seeking help and continuing to work on recovery.

Remember, you don’t have to face gambling addiction alone. Seeking help is a brave and responsible step toward a healthier and happier life. The support of professionals, friends, and family can make a significant difference in the journey to recovery.

Gambling addiction counseling is like getting help from a trained expert when gambling becomes a big problem in your life.

Here’s how it works:

Talking and Listening: You talk to a counselor about your gambling troubles, and they listen carefully to understand what’s going on.

Understanding the Problem: The counselor helps you figure out why you gamble too much and what triggers your gambling habits.

Setting Goals: Together, you and the counselor create goals to reduce or stop gambling.

Learning New Skills: They teach you skills to cope with the urge to gamble and manage stress and emotions without relying on gambling.

Support and Guidance: You get support and guidance to stay on track with your recovery.

Confidential and Safe: Everything you discuss with your counselor is kept private and safe.

The goal of gambling addiction counseling is to help you regain control of your life and find healthier ways to deal with any gambling problems.

I’m Paul Parkin – A therapist and life coach. This is why you should work with me:

Paul Parkin Online CounsellorI’ve been a gambling counselor for years, both in person and online. I’ve helped thousands dealing with gambling addiction and the troubles it brings. By tackling the root issues causing these problems, I help people break free from the need to gamble.

If gambling is no longer fun and becoming a problem, reach out to me. I’ll guide you to change these harmful behaviors and regain control of your life.

Online counselling is convenient from the comfort of your own home or workplace, or even in a car. Face-to-face counselling is also effective.

What some of my recent clients have said about our work together.

I can’t thank Paul enough for his constant support and guidance during my journey to overcome a severe gambling addiction. When I first contacted Paul, I was in a terrible place.

I had become deeply addicted to fruit machines, spending a lot of money every week. My addiction had gotten out of control, leaving me in financial ruin with debts piling up. I was stuck in a destructive cycle, doing desperate things to get money for my addiction.

When I told Paul about my struggles, he didn’t judge me. He helped me understand how these machines were made to trap people like me in addiction. Paul’s explanation was a big light bulb moment which made me feel better and less ashamed.

My addiction had ruined my life, not just my finances, but also my relationship with my husband. Paul helped me find the courage to talk honestly with my husband, and together, we looked for ways to make things better.

With Paul’s help, I made a plan to deal with my debts, like contacting a local Citizens Advice Bureau. This was a big step in getting control of my money.

Little by little, with Paul’s help and my husband’s support, I started to get better. My relationship with my husband got healthier, and there was less trouble because of my addiction.

Thanks to Paul, I’m not trapped by gambling problems and debt anymore. I’m getting my life back, and it’s all because of Paul’s kindness, knowledge, and commitment to helping me.

Ann. UK.
January 2024.

I used to be a wealthy man until a few years ago when I got introduced to baccarat. I started with just a small amount, thinking it was harmless fun, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It didn’t take long for the game to consume me completely. When I won, I craved more, and when I lost, I desperately wanted to recover my losses.

Initially, I won frequently, and it led me to accumulate a significant amount of money. Little did I know that these early wins were just bait to lure me into the grip of addiction. Regardless of how much I earned from baccarat, I ended up losing it all, and more. I went from being a wealthy individual to drowning in debt.

I borrowed money from friends and family, but it spiraled out of control to the point where I was resorting to illegal loans just to feed my addiction. I lived in fear because of the dangerous people I owed money to.

In my desperation and shame, I couldn’t bring myself to confide in anyone about my problem. That’s when I decided to seek help online, and I was fortunate enough to find Paul.

Paul’s knowledge about gambling addiction was exceptional, and he patiently explained why I found it psychologically difficult to stop gambling. He guided me step by step to regain my sanity. Together, we created a safe plan to repay my debts and break free from the clutches of baccarat.

It took time, but the transformation was worth every bit of effort. Today, I have regained control over both my finances and my emotions. I am on a path to building a healthy, gambling free life and rebuilding my wealth. I owe it all to Paul’s incredible support and expertise.

Alex. USA.
July 2023.

Ready to get started?