— problem gambling is linked to suicide
View our video on gambling and our treatment at The Kusnacht Practice
About gambling addiction
A killer compulsion
Many people find that pastimes such as online gaming, slot machines, blackjack, horse racing or a visit to the casino are forms of enjoyment. However, when entertainment turns into addiction, it is difficult to admit the problem. Gambling addiction is a psychological disorder that can dominate an individual’s life to the extreme detriment of mental and physical well-being as well as occupational, material and family values. It can cause severe harm to physical and mental health and may lead to financial ruin and death. A joint study by Yale University and the CT Council on Problem Gambling found that one in five gamblers who had called a helpline had previously attempted suicide.
Symptoms and effects of pathological gambling
A pathological gambler becomes addicted to the thrill of betting larger and larger amounts and taking greater risks, often with catastrophic results. Individuals who experience problems with gambling can be totally preoccupied with betting and may become extremely restless and irritable if they attempt to stop. They suffer from a similar loss of control, denial and compulsive behaviour as individuals who are addicted to substances such as drugs or alcohol. Frequently, a gambling addiction results in other addictions that serve as coping mechanisms for people who are stressed out by the activity. Many gamblers turn to drugs, alcohol and other activities to alleviate the anxiety brought on by the gambling lifestyle.
The most common symptoms of pathological gambling
- trying to control or stop gambling, without success
- lying to family members or others to mask the intensity of your gambling
- needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to get the same thrill
- gambling to escape problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression
- jeopardising or losing important relationships and work opportunities because of gambling
- having suicidal thoughts and tendencies
Treatment for pathological gambling
Pathological gambling can develop from a combination of psychological, genetic, physical and social causes. Factors that can contribute to the underlying causes of addiction to gambling include mood disorders, biochemical and neurochemical imbalances, stressful life events and childhood abuse. Addressing these issues can be a complex and difficult process. Our team of experts can provide an appropriate diagnosis of all disorders associated with gambling addiction. Luxurious conditions, full discretion and a vast array of facilities will help drive your mind away from thinking about gambling and encourage you to play for a better life.