Gambling Addiction kills -
Not all serious addictions are addictions to chemicals. Gambling addiction has the highest suicide rate of all addictions. Partially as it can be hidden until losses mount up. Like those addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, problem gamblers start with a little bit. Then, over time, they experience the same progressive loss of control as any addict. They start “using” regularly — then keep going as losses mount.
Increasingly, serious consequences don’t stop the behaviour. At the end, these men and women lose the power of choice altogether. The obsession to “win it back” takes over. Many lose everything. In this, chemical dependency and gambling addiction are the same.
Some characteristics unique to gambling seem to increase its addictive power. While alcohol and other drugs offer a predictable effect, gambling doesn’t. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Psychologists call that “a variable reward schedule, and it’s one of the most powerful ways to get a subject to repeat a maladaptive behaviour over and over despite the consequences. This is exactly what gambling does.
The brain chemistry (dopamine and adrenalin) of compulsive gamblers changes in pleasurable ways just by thinking about winning and what it feels like. It’s so compelling that they will destroy their financial lives, homes and reputations chasing that moment.
And it does feel great: winning — even fantasizing about winning — releases adrenaline and dopamine, two very powerful pleasure neurotransmitters in the brain. The problem is that the odds are always with the house. As a dealer once told me, “stay here long enough and the house will get all your money.”
Compulsive gambling also seems to follow the intense feeling patterns associated with methamphetamine use. The highs of winning are very high, while the lows are very low; so low, in fact, that suicide after losing big is not uncommon.
Problem (pathological/compulsive) gamblers have likened it to a collar that tightens as losses mount. A sense of urgency grows. Most people respond to this by stopping the behaviour. Not compulsive gamblers. They don’t withdraw — they go deeper. “I’m going to win it back” becomes the mantra.
Gambling also is different from alcohol and other drugs in that it is encouraged by government. Yes, we’re all reminded to “play responsibly.” But at the same time, we’re never allowed to forget how lottery funds are used for good causes, particularly education. And who wouldn’t want to help with that?
In the face of this, it’s important not to lose hope. It is possible to quit gambling, and to live without it. Success stories are many. But like any other powerful compulsion, it’s virtually impossible to stop alone. In some cases, inpatient treatment is required. There are now psychologists and counsellors who specialise in gambling addiction as well.
Others have found recovery from compulsive gambling in 12-step programs such as Gamblers Anonymous, where the power of the group is connected to spiritual principles. They can, and do, work. The first step is to realize how tremendously powerful gambling addiction can be and that we’re powerless over it, just like other addictions. Copyright .©Addiction Actually ... See MoreSee Less
The disease of addiction has a target organ known as the mid brain. @Addiction Actually
The cause is regulatory dysfunction of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. The effect is a common group of symptoms seen in each and every alcoholic and addict known to have the disease of dependence: loss of control, craving, and persistent use despite adverse consequences.
Many alcoholics and addicts have been accused of selfishness, of choosing their behaviours for a reward or pleasure, since that portion of the brain targeted by alcohol has often been called the reward or pleasure centre. This impression of hedonistic behaviour or on the part of the addict has for a long time caused inappropriate judgment, bringing shame to the one who suffers with this disease.
The family is very affected by the disease of addiction because the alcoholic or the addict will violate so many boundaries to get to his or her drug of choice. Often they cast aside job, family, health, relationships ~ to get to the top of their survival pyramid––their drug of choice. Drug of choice could include a process addiction such as sex, gambling, co-dependancy, exercise, shopping or work.
The disease of addiction, like other diseases, is chronic and organic. It sites the brain as its target organ. It relapses. It remits. It is a progressive and fatal illnessl, but treated one day at a time, lasting recovery is possible for each and every alcoholic or addict afflicted. All that is required is that they have the willingness to recover @Addiction Actually ... See MoreSee Less
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EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL USE ON BRAIN DISORDERS AND COGNITION
Heavy alcohol consumption has both immediate and long-term detrimental effects on the brain and neuropsychological functioning (Delin and Lee 1992; Evert and Oscar- Berman 1995). Heavy drinking accelerates shrinkage, or atrophy, of the brain, which in turn is a critical determinant of neurodegenerative changes and cognitive decline in ageing (Meyer et al. 1998).
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Tomorrow Josh Connolly will be joined for #lunchtimelives at 12pm by Toby Williams,
Toby is a political writer and a real activist for COAs so please tune in over on Instagram and get involved in the conversation during #COAWeek2021 ... See MoreSee Less
The Adapted Child (inner teenager) is a child’s version of an adult that developed to protect the Wounded Child. Often a perfectionist, harsh, contemptuous, unforgiving, arrogant, grandiose, and judgmental. Sees the world in black and white, and only cares about surviving. Views intimacy as a threat, and can be the aggressor or identifies with the aggressor. To help engage the Functioning Adult, reparenting and healing the Adapted Child is key. ... See MoreSee Less
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𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙏𝙧𝙖𝙪𝙢𝙖 & 𝘼𝙙𝙙𝙞𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 | 𝘿𝙧. 𝙂𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙧 𝙈𝙖𝙩𝙚: 𝘾𝙤𝙙𝙚𝙥𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙮 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝘽𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙨
Codependency is, like triggers, perceptions, and just about every other part of ourselves, a function of what we learned as children. It has many facets, but a key part of it is a strategy of connecting our value or worth to what someone else does or doesn’t do. And co-dependency, as its name implies, requires two or more people. Typically, one is caretaker or ‘enabler’, the other is the dependent. Often, the roles between the two interchange. But it isn’t a one-way relationship; the enabler often gains a sense of worthiness, a means of control, or some other benefit, while the dependent is, in some way taken care of. It is rarely an effective relationship in the long term.
Codependency is a topic that has entire books written about it. This post is in the context of addiction and families, where codependency is nearly always present. But before we go further, note that codependent behaviors are learned from our parents and the environment we grow up in. Our parents, in turn, learned it from their parents. No one wakes up and decides to be codependent, and no one intends to behave that way. So let’s put aside any judgment or shame,
Regardless of whether we’re the dependent or the enabler, codependency interferes with autonomy. It makes it hard to think for yourself. It makes for blurred boundaries. And many people use the word in a way that’s dripping with judgment or accusation: “Stop being codependent.” “If you weren’t so codependent, I could just live my life.” But if we can view codependency through the lens that Gabor is showing us, we might see a different perspective.
Think about codependency, boundaries, and what we’ve already learned about perception. Codependency, whether we are enabler or dependent, is driven by perceptions that are filtered by our earlier-in-life experiences. It’s further complicated by the intertwined nature of the connection between the codependents. All of these pieces fit together.
In our addiction-affected families, we often hear from the enabling person “I have to save him” or “She needs my help” or “I can’t just let him be on the street” or something similar. Conversely, we hear from the dependent person “I wish she weren’t so controlling” or “I wish she’d leave me alone.” Of course, we hear the opposite messages as well: “Why won’t you do this for me”, or “I can’t take this anymore.” Codependency represents a constant struggle between competing desires and needs, which are rarely met. Everything comes with strings attached. Both parties struggle with resentments toward each other. Boundaries (on both sides) are rarely respected.
In short, nobody’s happy. And that’s because our unmet needs and our filtered perceptions are getting in the way. If we’re an enabler, we probably want to be loved and appreciated. Or to feel needed. Or to gain control, so we don’t feel out of control. If we’re a dependent, we probably aren’t good at asking for our needs. Or we don’t feel confident. Or we don’t feel lovable. (Yes, a lot of those “feels” are perceptions, not needs. They’re used here for language simplicity.)
So much of the web of codependency is driven by perception and unmet needs. Here’s the catch: Understanding it intellectually doesn’t mean we can just change our behavior. We’ve spent decades learning it. The underlying behaviors and perceptions allowed us to survive. So it will take time to learn new, more effective strategies.
One of the first things we can do is simply acknowledge our behaviors. Talk to the people we’re connected with. Have conversations about codependency. Own our own behaviors, and ask the other person to acknowledge theirs. Agree to gently, respectfully, and lovingly point out or remind each other when we’re acting with codependence.
And… we can give ourselves, and those around us, permission to be imperfect. To fail. To fall into old patterns. We can recognize that overcoming these behaviors is a practice. It’s not something we achieve and are done with. When we do that, it’s much easier to accomplish.
For those of us who are on the enabling end of the spectrum, it can be scary to let go. To step back, and to give up control, judgment, and expectation. But when we do this, often, something wonderful happens. The person we’ve been tangled up with suddenly feels the freedom of not being controlled. S/he doesn’t have to worry about disappointing you. There’s no fear about what happens if s/he fails. With the loss of that pressure, and those expectations, very often the person can now feel free to actually improve him or herself. Maybe they’ll ask for help from someone other than you. Maybe they’ll ask you, but in a different way.
And for those of us who are dependent, having boundaries, and letting go of the codependent support we may have relied on can also be freeing. We may suddenly feel our sense of worth improving. We might discover that we can now make our own decisions. Even if they aren’t perfect ones, we learn, and we can get better.
Nothing about this process is easy. But we can approach it with love, compassion, and non-judgment. Curiosity. An open mind. A recognition that no one is at fault, no one is to blame, no one is trying to harm the other person. With that perspective, we communicate better. We have clearer, more effective boundaries. We can find our worthiness within ourselves. And ultimately, that helps us live happier, healthier lives. ... See MoreSee Less
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Hello, My name is drugs. I tear families apart, take your children, and that’s just the start.
I’m more costly than diamonds, more costly than gold, the sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.
and if u need me, remember I’m easily found, I live all around you, in schools and in town.
I live with the rich, I live with the poor, I live down the street, and maybe next door.
My power is awesome; try me you’ll see, but if you do, you may NEVER break free.
Just try me once and I might let you go, but try me twice, and I’ll own your soul.
When I possess you, you’ll steal, cheat, and lie. You do what you have to just to get high.
The crimes you’ll commit, for my narcotic charms will be worth the pleasure you’ll feel in your arms.
You’ll lie to your mother; you’ll steal from your dad When you see their tears, you should feel bad.
But you’ll forget your morals and how you were raised, I’ll be your conscience, I’ll teach you my ways.
I take kids from parents, and parents from kids, I turn people from god, and separate friends.
I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride, I’ll be with you always, right by your side.
You’ll give up everything… your family, your home… your friends, your money, then you’ll be alone.
I’ll take and take, till you have nothing more to give. When I’m finished with you you’ll be lucky to live.
If you try me be warned this is no game. If given the chance, I’ll drive you insane.
I’ll ravish your body; I’ll control your mind. I’ll own you completely; your soul will be mine.
The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed, the voices you’ll hear from inside your head,
the sweats, the shakes, the visions you’ll see; I want you to know, these are all gifts from me,
But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in your heart, that you are mine, and we shall not part.
You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do, but you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen. Many times you were told, but you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.
You could have said no, and just walked away, If you could live that day over, now what would you say?
I’ll be your master; you will be my slave, I’ll even go with you, when you go to your grave.
Now that you have met me, what will you do? Will you try me or not? Its all up to you.
I can bring you more misery than words can tell. Come take my hand, I’ll take you to HELL!
It not a Joke, share this with those that need to hear it.
via Stephen Kramer @Addiction Actually ... See MoreSee Less