Gambling is one of the most pervasive addictions in Australia. Considered normal to have a flutter on the pokies or a horse race, Australians spend more on gambling than most cultures in the world.
When the amount spent on gambling means you have difficulty paying the rent or the mortgage, the next meal or the kids needs for school, or the amount spent gambling is beyond what others would consider normal, the person gambling may have an addiction problem.
Addictions can occur without the use of a substance, drug or stimulant and sex addiction is another very difficult addiction problem. Outlined below are descriptions of addictions successfully treated at Psych Well.
Clinical Services provided for Addictions:
We have 21% of the world’s poker machines in Australia, where 70% of problem gambling is associated with poker machines.
333,000 Australians are problem gamblers. For every problem gambler between 5 and 10 people are affected. Spending more than $12,000 per year.
Psychologist Professor Alexander Blaszczynski (2000) identifies three main sub groups among problem gamblers. The normal, emotionally distrubed and biologically based impulsive pathological gamblers.
Normal Gamblers: Usually start gambling because with their friends, they started frequenting gaming venues, where they live, using gaming machines are common places to go out., Psychological science indicates, the most powerful method of reinforcement, is intermittent reinforcement.
Having a few harmless wins and playing again with the expectation they can win again. Reinforced in a social environment with obliging staff, relaxing music, free tea and coffee and inexpensive meals. Often accompanied by other mental illnesses such as depression, losing control of their finances, relationships fail and become socially isolated.
Emotionally Disturbed: Predisposed due to a family member who was a problem gambler. Displaying depression, substance dependence and an inability to cope and manage stress. Using gambling to avoid underlying issues.
Pathological Gamblers: Impulsive, they cant resist the urge to gamble, perhaps associated with a biological impulse (Blaszczynski, 2000). This category of gambling is characterised by impulsivity and an attention deficit with poor behavioural control. There is something soothing and relaxing about gambling.
Treatment involves developing a tailored approach depending on the severity.
Utilises cognitive behavioural therapy, to treat thought biases, interpersonal aspects of relationships, and financial counselling.
Although described as an addiction it’s not a medicalised explanation. If people around you have been encouraging you to seek help take it seriously and telephone to book an appointment to discuss your treatment options.
Sex addiction of-course has very little to do with sex. Sex addiction describes someone who has an extremely high sexual drive or an obsession with sex. Sex, the thought of sex, looking for opportunities for sex, often dominates the thinking of the person with a sex addiction. These behaviours can challenge relationships in every area of living, challenging normal healthy relationships.
Typical of many addictive behaviours, the person with sex addiction rationalises and justifies their behaviour, blaming others for their problems. People with a sex addiction have high risk behaviours leading to sexual activity despite their consequences.
Sex addiction can progress to illegal activities such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, making obscene phone calls or molestation. People who experience sex addiction do not necessarily become sex addicts.
Behaviours associated with sex addiction include:
- Compulsive masturbation
- Multiple affairs (extra marital affairs)
- Unsafe sex
- Phone or computer sex (cybersex)
- Voyeurism (watching others or stalking)
- Sexual harassment
- Sex addiction of-course has very little to do with sex
- Multiple or anonymous sexual partners and or one night stands
- Consistent use of pornography
- Prostitution or use of prostitutes
- Excessive dating through personal ads
- Molestation/rape (repeated non-consensual sex)
Living in denial of a problem is the cornerstone of any addiction. Treatment depends on the level of acceptance of the person admitting they have a problem. Often treatment is initiated by being found out during an affair, marriage breakup, an arrest or health crises.
Treatment of sex addiction is involved, and has been successfully undertaken at PsychWell. Telephone today to organise an appointment for an initial clinical interview.