Gambling Addiction Counseling in Scottsdale, AZ

When coupled with the brain’s strong desire to get more dopamine at all costs, someone can quickly become addicted to gambling.

Gambling Addiction Counseling in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona

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 and Relationships

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.

Gambling and Addiction

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.

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