Gambling Addiction


Gambling Addiction in Lexington, Richmond & Frankfort KY

Request An Appointment Now
What is Gambling Addiction?

Gambling can be defined as betting something of value when the outcome is uncertain. Gambling occurs in many forms, including: lotteries, casinos (slot machines, table games), bookmaking (sports books and horse books), card rooms, bingo, and pari-mutuels (horse and dog tracks, off-track-betting, Jai Alai). Gambling stimulates the brain's reward system similar to drugs and alcohol, potentially leading to addiction. Pathological or Compulsive Gambling is identified as an impulse control disorder that prompts the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. Although treating compulsive gambling can be challenging, many compulsive gamblers have found help through professional treatment.

Signs & Symptoms

Compulsive gambling affects the gambler, their family, their employer, and the community. As the gambler goes through the phases of their addiction, they spend less time with their family, spend more of the family's money on gambling until the bank accounts are depleted, and then may steal money from family members. At work, the pathological gambler misuses time in order to gamble, has difficulty concentrating and finishing projects, may show abnormal mood swings, and may engage in embezzlement, employee theft, or other illegal activities. The gambler, in desperation, may experience hopelessness, leading to suicidal thoughts, arrests, divorce, and alcohol or drug abuse.

Signs and symptoms of compulsive gambling include:
  • Gaining a thrill from taking big gambling risks 
  • Taking increasingly bigger gambling risks 
  • Preoccupation with gambling
  • Reliving past gambling experiences 
  • Gambling as a way to escape problems or feelings of helplessness, guilt or depression 
  • Taking time from work or family life to gamble
  • Concealing or lying about gambling 
  • Feeling guilt or remorse after gambling 
  • Borrowing money or stealing to gamble 
  • Failed efforts to cut back on gambling 
For many compulsive gamblers, betting is not as much about money as it is about the excitement. Sustaining the thrill that gambling provides usually involves taking increasingly bigger risks and placing larger bets.

Diagnosis & Treatment Options

Treating compulsive gambling can be challenging, partly because most people have a hard time admitting they have a problem. A major part of treatment is working on acknowledging that you are a compulsive gambler.

Treatment for compulsive gambling involves three main approaches:

  • Psychotherapy. Psychological treatments, such as behavior therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, may be beneficial for compulsive gambling. Behavior therapy uses systematic exposure to unlearn gambling and to learn skills to reduce the urge to gamble. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on identifying unhealthy, irrational and negative beliefs and replacing them with healthy, positive ones.
  • Medications. Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and narcotic antagonists may help treat problems that often go along with compulsive gambling, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but not necessarily compulsive gambling itself. 
  • Self-help groups. Some people find self-help groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous, a helpful part of treatment. 
There Is Hope!

The appeal of gambling is hard to overcome if you keep thinking that you'll win the next time you gamble. These recovery skills may help you remain focused on resisting the urges of compulsive gambling:

  • Tell yourself it's too risky to gamble at all. One bet typically leads to another and another.
  • Give yourself permission to ask for help, as part of realizing that sheer willpower isn't enough to overcome compulsive gambling. Ask a family member or friend to encourage you to follow your treatment plan.
  • Stay focused on your No. 1 goal: not to gamble. Coping skills to better manage the other issues in your life can be initiated only when you aren't gambling.
  • Recognize and then avoid situations that trigger your urge to bet.

There's no proven way to prevent a gambling problem from occurring or recurring. If you have risk factors for compulsive gambling, get treatment at the earliest sign of a problem to help prevent a gambling disorder from becoming worse. Visit these websites or set up an appointment today for more information about gambling addiction.

New Client Info
Lexington, KY

Darby Creek Location
501 Darby Creek Road
Suite 11
Lexington KY, 40509
Phone: 859-338-0466
Fax: 859-294-0802

Recent Posts
By Paul Dalton 05 Feb, 2016
So you live in Kentucky and only a few more weeks until spring. Everyone should be happy and feel better about that, right? I think most of us get a sense of relief and hope, and that cognitive energy to bust out of the winter season and get moving. For some, the spring can be a rough time. Depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, and relationship issues prevent the spring season from being all that it could be. Following are some reasons that these and other conditions may worsen in the spring, a few resources for you, and some concrete strategies you can implement to help yourself. 

So why do people struggle some in the spring when it should be all flowers and sunshine? 

1. Sleep
Many times the spring season causes a change in our circadian rhythm . The sun wakes you up in the am, it is difficult to keep a routine, and restlessness all contribute to the sleep problem. Our eating in the winter and spring can affect how much we sleep. Caffeine, napping, undereating, and how much we are moving, all contribute to how much we sleep. Spring likely has an effect on melatonin in the body, which aids in sleep. 

Strategies that help are EXERCISE and EATING RIGHT! If you keep moving with the help of  a tool like a Fitbit or utilize regular exercise of 45 minutes or more 4-5 times per week, you are far less likely to have sleep problems. Exercise helps you sleep. Exercise helps you eat better. Eating and sleeping adequately can reduce your stress and fight any symptoms you may have. Eating healthy keeps your mind, body, and spirit in a positive place. When your body is well, your mind has a great chance of being well too. Sounds too simple? Give it a try!

The sleep foundation can help here :  Sleep Foundation Healthy Sleep Tips
Eating Right For Spring
Here is a good link to read on symptoms getting worse in the spring: Spring Makes Symptoms Worse

2. Spring Fever is Real
Our office has existed for over 15 years now. I can tell you that March to May is our busiest time of the year, always. Bipolar disorder, marital infidelity, depression, and anxiety are the main reasons people call us in the spring. The real causes of spring fever include longer days that produce more sunshine and increased energy, changes in hormone production, sleep cycles, nutrition and diet changes, body needs, and possibly, a lack of self care. When we bust of out winter here in Kentucky we sometimes forget that it takes a little time to get our minds and bodies in shape for yard work, spring cleaning, and for many, an increased workload all the way around. Here are some links to let you know spring fever is real. 

Spring Fever
WEB MD-You Give Me Spring Fever
Wiki Spring Fever
Spring Time Bad for Depression

3. Expectations Are High

Sometimes in spring we have been thinking about all the things we should of, could of, would of done if we had lived in San Diego or Florida during our winter days. The reality of being human can set in when we find out that spring has sprung, it is time to get moving, and we don't have the energy or drive to complete our list of high expectations. Many people are disappointed in themselves and these outcomes. Don't worry about it. 

Strategies you can use include setting small attainable goals you can feel good about. Work on your list a little at a time. Make goals that regular people can reach with time built in for you to EXERCISE AND SLEEP. Do a mix of things that you enjoy and are healthy for you while completing your responsibilities. If you deny yourself from pleasure too long, that strategy is likely to backfire. Have a good balanced approach. Use a checklist that has 3 sections. One section is for today. One section is for the week. Reserve one part of the list for things your are really wanting to do. Put a vacation or planned fun activities on a calendar. Look up things you might want to do during that time online. Planning, thinking and dreaming are fine. They keep us hopeful. 

Tiny Buddha Expectations and Disappointment
Expectations at The Silent Blog
Three Ways Expectations Can Hurt You

4. Allergies

If you live in Kentucky, you know about allergies. Kentucky is known to be one of the worst states when it comes to spring and fall allergies.  Louisville is ranked as one of the worst cities in the entire country to live in due to allergies.   Many times people are unaware they are being affected. Sometimes the symptoms are less obvious than a runny nose, cough, and cold like symptoms. Many times people are lethargic, grouchy, have headaches, and have cognitive deficits. The allergic affect we have in Kentucky can quickly turn into a sinus infection, bronchitis, ear infections, and other maladies that make us mentally and physically drained. That flower below can cause us some issues! 

Get to a doctor. Take a seasonal allergy medication. Some are mild, like Allegra (please get your physician's approval before taking allergy medications) and can be taken everyday. Prescription nose sprays may help, but may also have some cognitive or mood altering side effects. Be careful, but don't suffer! Get help from an allergist if you need it. 

Allergy Resources
Pollen Map
How to Beat Spring Allergies by WEB MD
By creekmoremarketing 21 Sep, 2015

Welcome to our website!

Therapy is a great choice. It works, and I hope you make a commitment today to start. Most people find the idea of attending therapy with a therapist or counselor far more scary than the actual process itself. Here is a link that describes how the process works at our locations.

Our therapists are located in Lexington, Frankfort and Richmond, KY. See individual profiles of our therapy providers here . I hire our professionals personally and attempt to provide you with someone that will care about your outcome and treat you well. These are experts at counseling and therapy and provide services you will want to tell others about.

Our clinicians care, and you will know they are different in that respect. Providing therapy in Central Kentucky is much more than a job to our therapists. It is a profession, and a way of life.

Please let us help you today!   Contact us here   or at 859.338.0466 now.

Sincerely,

Paul D. Dalton, MS, LPCC, CADC

More Posts
What is therapy?

Therapy is more long-term than counseling and focuses on a broader range of issues. The underlying principle is that a person's patterns of thinking and unconscious awareness affect the way that person interacts with the world. The goal is to uncover those patterns and become aware of their effect and then learn new, healthier ways to think and interact.
Share by: