Belfast City Counselling
Belfast City Counselling

Gambling Addiction

Unlike Alcohol and Drugs, Gambling Addiction can remain relatively hidden.  People may see glimpses of it but it rarely comes out until something major happens.  It is easy to see the effects of alcohol and drugs on someone but how do you spot a person who has just lost their wages or mortgage payment?  As a result the addiction can gather momentum unchecked and unchallenged only showing itself in a shocking way when the addict can no longer hold all the pieces together and everything collapses at once.  As shocking as it can be for those close to the addict, it can for the person in addiction be a relief and present an opportunity to get the professional help needed to address it.


When does Gambling move from being something fun and exciting to that of an Addiction?


As you are looking at this site you are wondering that for yourself, or maybe you already know.  


For me that line between recreation and addiction is crossed when:

  • You regularly gamble more than you had planned - money and time
  • You find yourself chasing your losses rather than cutting them
  • You borrow money to cover losses
  • You feel guilty, get angry with yourself or others
  • You start to go against your own values - steal, lie,etc
  • It starts consuming your life - when you are not gambling you are thinking about it, planning it
  • You become less involved with your family
  • You are on edge, anxious - maybe the only time you feel peace is when you are gambling
  • Despite all of these things you tell yourself next time will be different


Addiction is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a disease.  Therefore I believe nobody chooses to have it.  There are those who believe that if you are an alcoholic or you take drugs or gamble that it is your fault, but that is untrue.  Certainly some of the choices made might not have helped or been healthy but as a recovering addict myself and the many years experience working as a counsellor in a residential treatment centre, I have not met one person who, growing up as a child, thought "when I am older I would love to be a Doctor and an alcoholic, or a Firewoman and a drug addict or a Teacher and gambler.


Whatever the reason why you gamble, when you get to the stage that it starts causing you and those you love pain and distress there is no going back to managing it.  It is time to stop for good and that is where Addiction Counselling will help.


Addiction doesn't care who you are.  It doesn't care about race, age, sex, religion, or if you are rich or poor.  It doesn't even care if you had the happiest or worst childhood.  Anyone can become an addict.  It is an equal opportunity disease but the good news is that it is possible for any addict to recover. 


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+44 (0) 7855 836174


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