Gambling Addiction

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What is gambling addiction?

Gambling addiction is a progressive brain disorder that
manifests in the same way as a substance addiction. A person
who is addicted to gambling will continue to gamble despite
adverse consequences, display lack of self-control and compulsive engagement in gambling and will develop intense cravings to continue the destructive behaviour.

Similar to the way stimulating drugs work, gambling acts on the brain’s pleasure and reward system. Whether it’s playing a slot machine or engaging in a few rounds of poker, dopamine is released in the brain which gives the gambler a heightened sense of pleasure. While most people can enjoy a flutter and walk away, some can’t. This is when a bit of harmless fun has the danger of becoming a
gambling addiction.

Compulsive gambling has far-reaching negative effects on a person’s finances, social life, work and family relationships. When someone is addicted to gambling, it completely consumes them, and they will find it impossible to stop. If you or someone you love suffers from gambling addiction, it is important to intervene and get professional help. Leaving a problem untreated can make it much more serious and harder to resolve.

At Mudita Cara, we can help you to regain control whatever the cause of your gambling addiction. Our team of holistic experts will identify the reason for your compulsive gambling disorder on a comprehensive residential rehab programme and develop a future-proof plan to overcome your addictive behaviour.

If you need help with gambling addiction, contact our team today and learn more about the different programmes we offer here at Mudita Cara.

Signs and symptoms of gambling addiction

Casinos, betting shops, scratch cards, bingo. People can be addicted to many different types of gambling but usually obsessively focus on one.

Someone with a gambling problem will need to engage in their chosen activity more often to achieve the same rewards and will be powerless to stop gambling despite the destructive effects on all aspects of their life. If you recognise any of the following signs and symptoms of gambling addiction in yourself or someone else, seek professional help immediately:

  • Needing to gamble more often and with higher amounts of money
  • Irritation and restlessness when prevented from gambling
  • Lying about or hiding gambling from friends and family
  • Borrowing money and getting into increasing debt
  • Frequently thinking about gambling and planning the next fix
  • Risking relationships, work or education opportunities
  • Repeatedly trying, yet failing, to quit gambling

These signs indicate a serious condition which requires medical intervention from trained psychologists and addiction experts.

The effects of gambling addiction

Financial difficulty is an obvious, and unavoidable, product of gambling addiction. However, the stress, regret and guilt that comes with compulsive gambling can also cause serious emotional disorders. These feelings can build up over time leading to anxiety and depression as well as behavioural problems such as irritability, low self-esteem, extreme reactions or lack of self-control. This is because the neural pathways that control decision-making, impulses and cognition are weakened as the addiction develops.

Treatment for gambling addiction

It can be difficult to get someone to accept they have a gambling problem. It helps to broach the subject from a place of concern, rather than judgement. People who are addicted to gambling can become defensive and aggressive when questioned about their actions.


It can be difficult to get someone to accept they have a gambling problem. It helps to broach the subject from a place of concern, rather than judgement. People who are addicted to gambling can become defensive and aggressive when questioned about their actions.


What works for one person, will be different for another, which
is why a taylor made individualised residential rehab programme from a recognised addiction specialist is the best way to approach addictive behaviour.


At our residential rehab in Hartebeespoort, Mudita Cara has a team of holistic addiction specialists who offer healing techniques for people who suffer from problem gambling. We help our client's to understand the root cause of
their gambling addiction and develop the tools and strategies that not only prevent relapse but allow them to live life free from the constraints of gambling.


The Mudita Cara approach to Gambling addiction

Our approach is person-centred. Our multidisciplinary team of holistic addiction specialists will design a
residential rehab programme around your specific needs, whether they are physical, psychological or emotional. You will have a challenging and inspiring journey here which combines the latest evidence-based therapeutic techniques with unique somatic experiences to completely transform your life.


Contact us for a free assessment today should you or your loved struggle with
gambling addiction.

Break the habit of gambling addiction in calming surroundings

For details of how Mudita Cara can provide you with assistance regarding gambling addiction treatment and rehabilitation, please call +27 81 037 2349