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    Gambling and Behavioural Addictions

    Gambling and other Process Addictions are progressive and have many psychological, physical and social consequences. As with all addictions, the impact can be felt in feelings of helplessness and despair. In some circumstances, this can lead to suicide attempts. The impact of financial loss and secrecy increases the likelihood of a suicide attempt.

    Some questions to consider when reflecting on your gambling and the need for therapy:

    1) Do I need to gamble with increasing amounts of money to feel excitement

    2) Have I had repeated unsuccessful attempts to stop, control, or reduce my gambling

    3) Do I gamble again, to try to recoup my losses

    4) Am I experiencing relationship, work, or self esteem issues as a result of gambling

    5) Have I borrowed money from others to finance gambling or to pay personal bills.

    Gambling addiction is like other addictions, largely a form of self medication. Therapy can help identify underlying issues and manage both the personal and external consequences.

    Other Process/Behavioural Addictions

    These include behaviour which results in negative consequences. They are behaviours that do not involve drugs or alcohol, yet provide a natural reward or emotional high, which eventually perpetuates the cycle. The behaviours feel compulsive and cause distress.

    Some examples include:

    • Sex and Love addiction

    • Internet Addiction

    • Shopping Addiction

    • Pornography Addiction

    • Video Game Addiction

    Some symptoms of a process addiction include:

    1) Preoccupation, over thinking about the behaviour

    2) Difficulty stopping the behaviour

    3) Prioritizing the behaviour over academic, occupation or family responsibilities

    4) Using the behaviour to cope with difficult emotions or feelings

    5) Experiencing emotional withdrawal (irritability, difficulty sleeping, depression, anxiety for example) when the behaviour is stopped.

    Co-occurring mental health conditions and the occurrence of stimulated reward pathways in the brain, trauma, neglect, stress, attachment disorders, can contribute to the development of a process addiction.

    Please reach out if you feel that you could benefit from therapy to address Gambling or Process addictions. A thorough assessment will be provided and a treatment plan developed that includes a combination of your goals and agreed upon professional recommendations.