According to the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders released in 2013, gambling disorder is a behavioural addiction diagnosis.

Although the similarities between gambling addiction and drug addiction have been noted by addiction experts for decades, gambling has only recently been formally recognised as a behavioural addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – which is the “gold standard” used by mental health clinicians and psychiatrists to diagnose psychiatric illnesses.

Some of the most common symptoms that a person that meets the criteria for gambling disorder, will have are:

  • Gambling is always on the person’s mind as he continually plans for future gambling opportunities or ways to win back gambling losses;
  • Persistent problematic gambling behaviour within a 12-month period;
  • Gambling as a way to numb feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt or anger;
  • Personality changes – as they revert to lying in order to cover up how much money they are spending on gambling;
  • Gambling increasingly larger amounts of money;
  • Several failed attempts to reduce or stop gambling;
  • Their normal daily functioning, personal relationships, career are all significantly affected as a result of gambling;
  • Experiences financial problems as they gradually go into more debt caused by gambling.

Gambling compulsively can show itself in many forms – slot machines, lottery tickets, sports bets, online poker, casinos or even gaming and cryptocurrency trading. As soon as any of these activities start causing financial difficulties, problems at work and dysfunctional relationships, people should seek professional help. Problem gambling easily turns into addiction.

Treatment for Gambling Addiction

At Castle Health we strongly believe in personalised treatment. Every gambling addiction is unique due to the differences in the way gambling manifests in accordance with lifestyle, personality, medical health and past psychological patterns.

That is why at Castle Health we tailor the recovery treatment plan to specifically meet the individual needs and characteristics of each patient. Upon admission, our team gathers all the necessary information from all those previously involved in the patient’s care – counsellors, GP, family members. Based on this thorough clinical investigation, our medical and therapeutic team, headed by the Consultant Psychiatrist, examine the patient’s medical and substance-use history and determine the best treatment directions to achieve long-lasting recovery.

Our gambling addiction programme is based on the 12-step addiction treatment model. The 12-Step philosophy was pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930s. Its basic principle is the therapeutic effect of the community: people can help one another maintain abstinence from drugs, alcohol or other behavioural addictions by supporting each other constantly and sharing their experiences.

Our highly trained therapists run Gamblers Anonymous 12 Step groups where they help compulsive gamblers identify their behaviours, share similar experiences and find common coping strategies to overcome their dependency while supporting one another.

In addition to this, we provide a complex blend of specialist and complementary therapies such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – which helps people with problem gambling to understand their dangerous gambling behaviours and thoughts; recognise the negative consequences of their addiction; put new healthy behaviours in place of gambling; regain focus, assertiveness and self-esteem; heal their broken relationships with friends, family or work colleagues and manage the other psychological and financial damages caused by problem gambling.
  • Individual Therapy – patients can discuss their specific questions and needs with a personal counsellor and take practical steps to change their lifestyle and mentality.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment – We treat underlying conditions contributing to the patient’s compulsive gambling or caused by it, such as substance abuse or related mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder or other personality disorders.
  • Family therapy – works with the patient and family members. These can help patients work through the specific issues that have been created by their problem gambling and lay the foundation for repairing their relationships and finances.
  • Career and credit counselling – to solve the financial difficulties caused by compulsive gambling.
  • Relapse Prevention courses – to assist the patient in developing their own strategies to cope with relapse triggers and strengthen their life-long abstinence.

The ultimate goal of our long-term addiction recovery programme is to achieve life-long abstinence from damaging behavioural addiction, develop a healthy new lifestyle through diet, exercise and therapy and prepare the patient for a functional, happy life without gambling.

Cryptocurrency Addiction

Castle Health offers a unique treatment programme for addiction to cryptocurrency trading, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple or Litecoin. We are one of the very few residential rehab clinics in the UK to treat addictions to digital currencies. As compulsive betting with cryptocurrency is an addictive, dysfunctional behavioural pattern, we treat it as a behavioural addiction, alongside gambling, betting or gaming addiction.

Contact us for gambling recovery

If a loved one has a gambling problem, you may have already spent a lot of time and energy trying to stop them from gambling, covering for them or running into huge debts to pay for their gambling overdrafts.

However, the most effective way to help them is a long-term residential treatment programme where they can step away from all gambling triggers and focus on their recovery.

Call us at Castle Health for specialised gambling addiction help.