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The Power of a Gambling Addiction

No one ever plans to become addicted to something. A person becomes addicted to something most often due to a feeling of lack inside, or to block out or cover up other feelings. To understand addiction better, and how one can deal with it, we must look at the two main elements of addiction: tolerance and withdrawal.


Tolerance refers to how an addictive behavior or substance affects the emotions of the person who is addicted, over time. Addictive behaviors such as gambling boost certain emotions while blocking out others. This may lead to emotional pain being decreased temporarily, but unfortunately, this does not last forever. Eventually, the physiological processes that caused the blocking and boosting of emotional responses will change. Over time, one will become tolerant to the addictive behavior or substance, necessitating increased levels of this behavior or substance to achieve the same effect. In regards to gambling, this leads to people spending more and more money as they search for more intense experiences. Even these more intense experiences will eventually fail to cause the desired response, however.


Withdrawal refers to the difficult period of physical and emotional withdrawal that an addicted person goes through when they cease taking part in the addictive behavior. There are two phases of withdrawal. The first phase, acute withdrawal, happens within hours or days of when the addictive behavior stopped. It is a result of a disruption in the emotional and biochemical balance that was established under the continued presence of the addiction. Symptoms will gradually diminish as the emotional and physical bodies adjust to a new balance. The second phase of withdrawal, post acute withdrawal, may last much longer: weeks, months, or even a couple of years (this will likely not be the case with gambling addictions).

Withdrawing from an addiction is never easy. However, the fact is, there is no alternative. An addiction will only become more and more powerful and more difficult to overcome as time goes on, and eventually, nothing will satisfy the addiction. This often leads to suicide.

The Road to Recovery

It is important to seek help for an addiction as soon as possible. A good place to start might be Gamblers Anonymous, where you can either go to meetings, or participate in their online chats. Finding a good therapist is also a good idea – preferably someone who has experience dealing with addiction. Find a therapist you feel comfortable with. Remember, don't put it off. There are great rewards to be had in overcoming an addiction, and you will begin to feel these rewards much sooner than you may think. Continue reading about gambling addiction recovery here...

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