Addiction comes in many forms and affects millions of people. If you or someone you know is struggling with compulsive gambling, you know it takes a significant toll not only on the addicted person but those in their life as well. Gambling of all shapes and forms works directly with the brain’s reward system, in a similar way to drugs or alcohol. Every time you gamble, it provides the brain with highly desirable dopamine – something that makes your brain and body feel pleasure. Due to a variety of potential other factors such as family history, when coupled with the brain’s strong desire to get more dopamine at all costs, someone can quickly become addicted to gambling.
Gambling addiction may deteriorate relationships in your life, make you hide your behaviors, deplete your savings or even accumulate debt, and put yourself in potentially harmful situations to support your addiction. Imaging has shown that addiction causes very real and visible changes in the brain over time so with treatment, it is important to address not only withdrawal symptoms but mental health as well. Time and time again, research and anecdotal evidence have shown that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a highly effective way to treat gambling addiction. SPECT Scan Imaging of the brain pioneered by Dr. Daniel Amen in his infamous book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life”, details visual changes by showing the oftentimes large holes in the brain where areas of the prefrontal cortex simply disappear. That happens to be the area of the brain that is responsible for decision-making. Gambling Alters the brain because of its dopamine reward system, often times just like alcohol or drug use.
The brain is capable of recovery. When the brain heals, compulsive gambling recovery is strengthened and lives are changed. CBT helps compulsive gamblers recognize the thought and behavior patterns in their lives that have led to their addictive behavior. There is a focus on mindfulness and when working with an experienced and knowledgeable CBT counselor, the client is able to establish new thought and behavior patterns that will help treat their gambling addiction. And through CBT, an addict’s brain can heal and its’ appearance can actually change, showing how the brain is adapting to more positive thought and behavior patterns. Speak to an experienced and trustworthy CBT counselor to learn more about how you or a loved one can begin to recover from a gambling addiction.
It literally took an Act of God to get me to counseling. I was really scared and didn’t really trust that any counselor could help. I’m so glad I made myself seek help. It’s made a world of difference.- Charlie F.
I’ve thought about calling you almost every month I’ve picked up a chip. I haven’t had a drink since the night before I first came to see you…I remember sitting there with nothing but defeat and telling you I had no faith that it would be different “this time.” You told me it already was– that it was written all over my face…I hope you are well and thank you again for the boost and redirect you gave me.- D.M.
I had an issue with painkillers (opiates). What started as a lower back injury from working out turned into an addiction to vicodin and percocet..I’m proud to say, after months of counseling with DJ I am clean and sober and love my life again… If you need help with addiction, or are scared to talk with your family and friends, I strongly suggest you contact Diebold Behavioral Counseling. DJ Rocks!!!- Beth K.
Finally after seeing multiple counselors and at the end of my rope, I met someone who was able to get through to me. After a lifetime of off and on alcohol abuse and multiple DUIs, DJ helped me get my life back, emotionally, spiritually and physically as well as my personal and professional life and relationships. In my opinion, DJ is a true lifesaver!- Patrick P.