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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello  and Welcome Friends in Recovery,


So, where do I begin, as my last was Jan 2016, and so much has been going on. I had been writing articles for Addicted Minds treatment directory, but ended up giving that up because I was hired by a premier recovery magazine called; In Recovery Magazine - The Bookstand ... I write a column titled; "The Author's Cafe" and handle all the recovery author interviews. I also find great recovery books and authors who write them to advertise their book, films, and Apps into our mag. It has been a fun experience thus far and my first column debuted last month. AND? My first author, I interviewed and wrote about? It is Mr. Arnie Wexler and his New Book,  Arnie Wexler, All Bets Are OFF ...



It was an Honor to have Arnie as we all know he and Shelia have helped many from gambling addiction! I am also a new article writer for a fantastic recovery newspaper as well. Over at Keys To Recovery newspaper... It is a free publication for all recovery people to enjoy and has so much helpful info in it. I am also putting the finishing touch's on my second book, but I still am having a hard time with a working title still. My current book out, Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat is still selling 
really well. I am so happy as it really gives readers an in-depth look at how gambling addiction can devastate people's lives.


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Product Details 

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Here is my most recent Amazon 5-star review and this reader really "got" why I wrote my book.


Book
Review:

Brave and Honest"

on June 29, 2016
Addicted to Dimes was a very real and painful history of what it is like to lose yourself to an addiction. The hard road thru recovery and finding out what caused her to be broken in the first place. I felt sad for the criticized daughter that had lost her self-worth. The story is not a chance to blame other people for the addiction but a chance to explain that all of the internal and outer conflicts worked together to cause what she called the perfect storm.

Catherine is quick to offer helpful advice to those suffering from this type of addiction or any addiction at all.

I felt for Catherine and Tom, for their marriage that struggled during this time and for the strength they had to work through it.
The writing was obviously painful to rehash the history that led to the bad decisions and the hurtful deterioration of her family life. It is a brave thing to put this out there for strangers to read and hopefully not judge too harshly her honesty.

I give the writing a 5-star rating because the story does draw you in and allows you into the most private moments and feelings of a dysfunctional family and the lasting effects of that past. I am glad that when Catherine wrote this she was in a stable part of her recovery and is an outgoing champion for others that are on the road to recovery   "A much-needed book and highly suggest this one!"


I am very proud of this review. I am also "humbled and grateful" that I have not received anything lower than s 4-Stars. What an AWESOME Legacy to
leave behind for all those who suffer or will suffer from this cunning disease called: "Addicted Compulsive Gambling" ....  Please stop my recovery blog for MORE helpful advice and resources if you or a loved one struggles with gambling. "Gambling Addiction Is Real - Recovery Starts Here" 



Author & Columnist, Catherine Lyon 







Hits: 1498

Posted by on in Other Addictions
In our society the word ‘addiction’ is strongly associated with drugs, such as cocaine and heroin. When people think of addiction they picture illegal substances and narcotics. In the last couple decades’ addiction has really gained national attention, with SAMHSA estimating over 25 million American have a significant problem with drugs or alcohol. However, are not the only things can people can become addicted to. Recent psychological research has created a new class of addiction termed ‘Behavioral Addictions’. These habits produce a psychological ‘high’ that can become so strong that the addict loses control and seeks the activity despite the dangers and consequences. People with drug or alcohol addiction or recovery from substance abuse problems are at a much higher risk to developing a behavioral addiction than an average American. That’s because these activities can produce dopamine, the so-called ‘feel good’ chemical, which is the same neurological transmitter involved in drug addiction.
 
Gambling Addiction

People addicted to gambling may most closely resemble people addicted to drugs and alcohol, because they impact the brain in similar ways. The risk and reward of gambling produces euphoria in the gambler. The thrill of winning, pulling a bluff, and getting lucky can create an intensely pleasurable experience. Gambling can become a behavioral addiction when the person starts to impulsively gamblegambling-addiction despite recent losses, lack of money, or disregard for responsibilities to family or work. Gambling addicts can become so obsessed with gambling that they will steal and even rob to get money to continue their habit. When they win a big sum of money it does not satisfy them and they continue gambling, often eventually losing all their winnings. This addiction is so common that there are even 12 step groups for it and the APA includes it in their classification system.

Sex Addiction

Like gambling addiction, sex addiction is one of the more acknowledged behavioral addiction, with its own 12 step groups. What causes people to become addicted to sex? Dopamine; the same brain messenger chemical involved in drug, alcohol, and gambling addiction. Many sex addicts also have some form of other mental issues, such as body dysmorphia, low self-esteem, and hyper-sexuality. When a person becomes addicted to sex they begin to seek intercourse with different people, often complete strangers. Severe cases of sex addiction involve having sex with 4 or more people in a single night, sometimes without even exchanging names. A sex addict will begin to put their health, career, and relationships in jeopardy to achieve the ‘high’ that they get from having sex. Risk, such as sexual infections or unwanted pregnancy, is not enough to stop their habit.

Internet Addiction

The advent of computers and the internet have resulted in increased communication, sharing of knowledge, and technological advancements. In 2016, it is obvious we live in a digitally wired world. Internet addiction occurs when a person becomes too attached to their computer and specifically the internet. This addiction is a little more controversial than the previous two cases. Many psychologists andcomputer-addiction-2doctors aren’t convinced that internet addiction is a true disorder. However, some research has shown that an addiction to the Internet involves loss of control, as well as negative consequences at work and at home comparable to more standard addictions. One study even found that compulsive use of the internet may occupy up to 11 hours out of an “Internet addict’s” day and it is estimated between 6 to 11 percent of internet users may be affected by compulsive internet use.

 

 

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Originally Posted @ http://www.newbridgerecovery.com/understanding-cross-addiction/

Bill’s Story

Bill is 28 years old and has recently gotten over a decade long prescription pill addiction. During his addiction, Bill ignored alcohol and instead spent all his time and money on supporting his drug habit. Now 6 months sober, Bill starts to have thoughts about drinking. He thinks “If I was addicted to pills, why can’t I drink?” Slowly Bill begins to convince himself that his problems were because of pills and that he will be able to responsibly drink alcohol. He starts drinking with no immediate problems. At first he has great experiences with drinking and has no real consequences. However, he finds that alcohol does not quite give him the feelings that his pills used to. Then a few months later Bill gets pretty intoxicated one night and calls up his old drug dealer. In his inhibited state of mind, he desires the old feelings that the pills used to give him. Quickly Bill starts up his drug habit again and finds himself worse off than he was before he got sober. “How did this happen?” Bill desperately asks himself.

Cross Addiction Explained

I tell this hypothetical story to illustrate the dangers of cross addiction. I loosely define cross addiction as switching or replacing one addiction with another unhealthy addiction. While the story above is made up, the theme of it is all too real. I have seen many sober alcoholics relapse on prescription pills or marijuana, because they think that their problems only relate to alcohol. Likewise, I have seen many sober drug addicts relapse on alcohol, thinking that alcohol won’t affect them like drugs did. The reality is that if you have an addiction to one substance, you are at a high risk of developing addictions to other substances. This is because alcohol, narcotics, and pills act upon the brain in the same way, stimulating the dopamine reward pathways. Habits, such as sex, gambling, smoking, and eating are taken to excess they can even become a cross addiction for an addict or alcoholic. This is because like alcohol and drugs, sex and eating release dopamine in our brains. It is not uncommon for a newly sober alcoholic to develop an unhealthy eating habit or a compulsive smoking addiction.

The Dangers of Cross Addiction

While things like sex and eating are normal and important activities, when taken to excess they can be unhealthy and lead to a relapse. The main danger of cross addiction is a full blown relapse into the original addiction. As in Bill’s story, his cross addiction eventually led him back to the root of his problems. This is a tricky topic because many people who do not know about cross addiction are putting themselves at risk without being aware of the dangers. Cross addictions such as over-eating can lead to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Compulsive sexual behaviors can lead to sexual transmitted infections or infidelity in relationships. The important thing to remember is everything in moderation; even normal behaviors taken to excess can have negative effects.

Avoiding the Pitfall

Recovery is about learning to live and thrive without substances or mind-altering chemicals. It is about becoming satisfied and comfortable with yourself and your emotions. Using any substance or activity to ‘escape’ or numb difficult emotions is not healthy. I encourage everyone in early recovery to learn about cross addiction and develop healthy ways to cope with stress and anxiety.

Hits: 1673

Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, and Welcome All,



We all know how hard it can be to live life in recovery from gambling addiction, or from any addiction quite frankly. But, many of also live with other daily challenges in recovery as well.
Sitting in the rooms of GA, it seems to be more common now that many of us also have "Dual Diagnosis" . . .  Meaning, we maybe recovering from 2 or more addictions, or like myself, I live in recovery and battle Mental/Emotional health disorders as well. And this can be pretty challenging on some days. So I thought I would share a 'freelance recovery article' I was invited to write for a rehab website about this topic. It also seems to becoming the norm that many addicts are also now becoming addicted to gambling as they try to use gambling as a "quick source of fast money" to indulge in
what ever their TRUE addiction is. Maybe they gambling to make a fast buck to score more drugs, or buy the alcohol they so desperately want to feed their addiction? 

But now these same people end up with a dual addictions because they get hooked on gambling. But most importantly, my experience is with addiction and living with mental illness. And one of my disorders is a direct effect of my past compulsive gambling. So here is more on this topic and article share. . . . .

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So how does one recover from gambling addiction while living with mental illness? It can be difficult and a bumpy ride, but it can be done. I did it, and am doing it, and you can too! A personal share of what life was like. . .

“All I remember is waking up in the hospital. I heard people talking about me saying, when the police came to my home, there were knives all around me on the couch and floor of my living-room. Then I blacked out again.” “I woke up next in a mental/addiction crisis center with my wrists wrapped, feeling very sick to my stomach, and remained there for the next 14 days” . . .

This is where my recovery and behavioral health journey began. To be able to recover from gambling addiction, and while there, I was diagnosed with bipolar ll with severe depression, mild mania with anxiety, PTSD, and many negative behavioral habits I had picked up in my many years of addicted gambling.

See, I was suffering undiagnosed mental illness for years without ever knowing it. And I turned to addicted gambling and alcohol abuse to zone out & cope by wanting to not feel the hurt and pains I had not processed. That day, I was supposed to be attending my best friend’s funeral and celebration of life! Well, instead, I had a very bad gambling binge/slip that almost cost me my life. Many ask me, “How can you just waste your money like that? I tell them, “it’s not about the money, it’s about the disease of gambling addiction, and the bad choices and behaviors that comes with it”. . . “that it is not about the money wasted, gambling addiction almost cost me my life by  way of 2 failed suicides.”


So what is Gambling Addiction?

There are many definitions for problem and gambling addiction. Some claim it’s a mental health disorder, some say it’s a cognitive behavioral issue, and even some say it’s an impulse control problem. From personal experience, it was all three and more. But all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits is a gambling addiction. The essential features are increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide.
And I experienced all of the above. I was sick.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello and Happy Valentines Day Recovery Friends,


Sometimes our higher power brings others in our lives at "just that right moment" when we start to think why we do what we do in recovery for others. I know I have felt this way before myself many times. Just when all the writing, blogging, freelance articles, and having my soul lay open bare for all to read, you wonder if anyone is listening. If there are people being helped with my God given purpose in life to help others recover from the financial ravages and devastation of addicted gambling addiction. Adnan's story is very sensational, but the truth is what he say's about how he felt. About being driven by a disease that is so cunning, that the disease will invade and corrupt even your thoughts and feelings that drive action. NO, no excuses here, nor any denial or blame.

Just insight as to how any addition can drive you to a point of hopelessness and poor choices. Adnan has taken his ownership and accountability for what he has done within his gambling addiction. He currently is serving a 17 year prison sentence. And has wrote and was just published this past Fall. So it's why I'm sharing a blog post I just did on my own recovery blog. His story needs to be shared and heard everywhere, as it serves as a "wake up call" to the constant expansion of Casinos and States Lotteries.

Here's Adnan Alisic Story:

A true story straight out of the News Headlines about an Addicted Gambler ~ Lets put faces behind Gambling Addiction the Disease. . .
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“Not only is a group of men charged in the theft of $2 million cash from an armored truck at an East Valley casino, but they could also be accused of stealing from some Hollywood scripts. A FBI search warrant affidavit and federal indictment records provide new details of the July 21 attempted robbery of Casino Arizona at Talking Stick that some movie buffs might find familiar.”

Attempted Casino Arizona robbery like a Hollywood movie” ~ said the Associated Press ~

ASSOCIATED PRESS – The attempted robbery of $2 million from a casino on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community east of Phoenix sounds more like a Hollywood movie than a real-life incident, according to newly released court documents.

Officials are charging Ismar K, Adnan Alisic, Bakil, and Daniel M{ not wanting to use the others charged – full names}, with conspiracy, interference with commerce by threats, violence and robbery, and use of a firearm in a crime of violence in the July 21 attempted robbery of Casino Arizona at Talking Stick, according to their indictment and a FBI search warrant affidavit outlined.

Adnan Alisic made fake manhole covers so they would be lighter and easier to lift, and then switched them with two others the day before the robbery. The men placed ladders and ropes in the manholes and parked an all-terrain vehicle in the sewer system so they could race the money from one manhole to the other. Holes were cut in the floorboards of two vans for access to the manhole covers, a trick Steve McQueen pulled in 1972’s “The Getaway.”
The men’s gear included blue coveralls, gas masks, pepper spray, bear attack deterrent, smoke grenades, cell phones, two-way radios, a 9-millimeter handgun and a plastic pellet gun.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction


Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome New Visitors,


Many of us who live with Dual Diagnosed Mental Illness, and live in Recovery can have a much more difficult time overcoming some of the daily fears we think and feel. I have Agoraphobia with panic disorder. Hard to explain the different type of 'Fear' then just having panic disorder. This is how it's defined ...

AGORAPHOBIA:

Definition:

Agoraphobia is an irrational fear of being trapped in places or situations where escape could be difficult or impossible. People with agoraphobia often will not leave the house. It often occurs in association with panic disorder . In this case, the affected people may fear that help will not be available in certain places in case a panic attack occurs.

Causes:

The exact cause is unknown. Most people develop agoraphobia after having panic attacks. Afraid of having another attack, an agoraphobic avoids places and situations that have triggered an attack. Factors that may contribute to the development of this phobia include:

 development of this phobia include:

  • Genetics
  • Changes in brain chemistry or activity
  • Having a nervous system that reacts excessively, even to normal stimuli
  • Increased awareness of physical changes (such as increased heart rate)
  • Distorted thinking, which may start a cycle of fear

    Changes or genetic problems in the nervous system (brain and nerves) may contribute to agoraphobia ...

    Risk Factors:

    These factors increase your chance of developing agoraphobia. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
    • A tendency to be nervous or anxious
    • Stressful situations
    • Family members with panic disorder or phobias
    • Age: 18-65
    • Sex: female
    • Other psychiatric disorders
    • Personality disorder


             

Both my psychiatrist and primary doctors have told me that some of my condition comes from my past addicted gambling addiction. It has also affected my heart beat too. So I take medication for it. Also learning more life skills have helped some.
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Don't let the fear of failure stop you from doing what you were called to do! Kick FEAR to the curb and move on!
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There has been a few things bothering me the last couple of days.

I have thought of my mom recently of her passing in 2003, and the legacy of bad behaviors she left behind. Now I’m not ‘mom or dad bashing at all, I’m sharing because I also been thinking of my dad as well. His 80th birthday is coming up at the end of this month, and it’s coming on almost 9 1/2 years since we have had any communication. I have been thinking of the FEAR around not making some form of effort or amends with him before he pass’s away. I have shared a little in the past about this subject, but it’s the FEAR that seems to be driving my thoughts about this.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends, Readers, and New Visitors,



I recently was interviewed for a very important article that was released to many major media outlets by, Elaine Meyer of The Dept. of Epidemiology of Columbia University, New York. http://the2x2project.org/gambling-public-health "Gambling With America's Health" ... It was a study and research Elaine has been working on for a few months, about how problem & addicted gambling costs have impacted our Public Health and our population. How the negative impact has on our states and our communities. In this important article was also a man that has been in the gambling & recovery circles for many years that I have never had the pleasure of meeting, or connecting until now.

Do YOU know Arnie Wexler? Certified gambling councilor, and strong 'Advocate' of problem and addicted gambling. When I read his part in Universities article, I was brave enough to reach out to him through the Professionals Social Media website, LinkedIn. He accepted my friend connect, and low and behold sent me an email!!
YES, Arnie IS the ROCK STAR and EXPERT on Gambling Addiction. His lovely wife Sheila, is also advocates as well. She gives many spouses an insightful look at what it was like to be married to an addicted gambler. THAT is a very important part of one's recovery from this cunning disease. It's not very often we get a 'couple' that tirelessly advocate for a well rounded look at what Gambling Addiction really looks like.

So, when Arnie reached out to me by email, he also gave me a very SPECIAL SURPRISE! He shared a long excerpt of his soon to release new book titled; All Bets Are Off ...So I thought I would come share it here with all of you! I'm very Blessed & Honored to share this with you, and to share about the wonderful work both Arnie & Sheila Wexler do for others reaching out for help from gambling addiction ... Here is a little more about them!
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(Arnie & Sheila Wexler)
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Arnie and Sheila Wexler have provided extensive training on Compulsive, Problem and Underage Gambling, to more than 40,000 gaming employees (personnel and executives) and have written Responsible Gaming Programs for major gaming companies. In addition, they have worked with Gaming Boards and Regulators, presented educational workshops nationally and internationally and have provided expert witness testimony.

Sheila Wexler is the Executive Director of the Compulsive Gambling Foundation. They also run a national help line (888 LAST BET) and work at Recovery Road, a treatment facility in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida that specializes in the treatment of those suffering with gambling addiction.
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Arnie's Story:

Arnie Wexler’s compulsive gambling spiraled out of control  . . . now after forty-plus years in recovery he is a nationally known expert on gambling addiction and helps others to “quit the bet.” All Bets Are Off chronicles Wexler’s life as a gambler that began on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, flipping cards, shooting marbles, and playing pinball machines. At age fourteen he found the racetrack, a bookie to take his bets, and started playing the stock market. His preoccupation with gambling accelerated until a fateful day in 1968 when it all came crashing down. Wexler’s gripping narrative leads us through the dungeon of a compulsive gambler’s world—chasing the big win and coming up with empty pockets—and how his addiction drove him and his wife, Sheila, to the edge of life. With help, they managed to escape, and together they have devoted themselves to helping others with the problem they know so well …

His new book titled,  All Bets Are Off,  was written along with Steve Jacobson. And again, Arnie has given me and my recovery friends a sneak peek, but keep in mind it’s an unedited look at the new book. I have pre-ordered my copy and so should all of you! One of the extraordinary things about Arnie and Sheila is that they give us a look inside how gambling addiction not only affects the addict, but how it affects our loved ones and spouses.
That’s where Sheila comes in.

Together, their story and personal testimony is very important. We need to be able to see how gambling affects all who are around us, and to see what we but our spouse/partner through, and the family as a whole. That is the topic of the part of the book Arnie was kind enough to share with us.

Here is the Sneak Peek of;  "All Bets Are Off" ...

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello And Happy Memorial Weekend Recovery Friends!


 

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Some days living life in recovery can be a bit of a challenge. What I mean is, no matter how much recovery time one gets under their belt, we still may have a day when something from our “Wicked Past Addiction” just might come back and ‘Bitch Slap’ us in the face of our present.
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It’s why it’s important to ALWAYS have a plan. And especially for long holiday weekends like this one, *Memorial Weekend*…

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Even when that “Slap” comes around, we need to have a safe plan to deal with Life on Life’s terms. I mean, our higher power never said recovery was going to be an easy journey right? Here is what happened to me a while back. When we moved from So. Oregon, to here in Glendale, Arizona,…it was a very traumatic move for me in many ways. I had to adopt out my 2 baby kitties, actually my good friend who has a mini 3 acre ranch took them for us, but it was traumatic for me. Also the 3 day ride in the car was also a traumatic event for me, and had to stay a wee bit extra medicated with my psych meds for the long trip, as I suffer from Bipolar depression, mild PTSD, and Agoraphobia with panic, so need I say more? When we finally got her to AZ we were living with my husbands siblings until we could move back to Oregon. Well, there was SO much DRAMA and arguing that I was having 5 panic attacks a Week!!

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

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It's been awhile since I have blogged a post here that's NOT reblogged from my own recovery blog. One of the ways to inform, educate, and raise awareness about addicted and problem gambling is to talk about it. As gambling in our society is seen as so socially accepted, the STIGMA around those of us in recovery from this disease is growing. Also growing is the sheer numbers of those turning into "problem & addicted gamblers" as well.

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What also has changed is the type of people who are becoming problem or addicted gamblers, and quite frankly I'm shocked at the continuing rise of suicides as well.
The first group who are being touched by addicted gambling is Your College age students and teens. Some of what I will share in facts and statistics comes from a few websites, and are good friends. The caring folks from Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance has done some god research about problem gambling...
http://www.northstarproblemgambling.org
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Problem gambling also known as gambling addiction or compulsive gambling, is defined as the urge to gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop
. It’s estimated that approximately 160,000 to 214,000 Minnesotans struggle with this addictive disorder, which can destroy lives, threaten family relationships and empty retirement savings.
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Virtually anyone – men or women, young or old, from every religion, race and socio-economic background – can be at risk for developing a gambling problem. They can play the horses, slots, the lottery, pull-tabs, cards and bingo.

It is estimated that one to two percent of Minnesotans meet the diagnostic criteria for compulsive gambling. Another one to two percent experience problems related to their gambling behaviors.

The most serious form of problem gambling is pathological gambling, the essential feature of which is “persistent and recurrent maladaptive behavior that disrupts personal, family or vocational pursuits.” (American Psychiatric Association – DSM-IV)

Compulsive gambling can result in social, emotional and financial devastation, including loss of relationships, residence, emotional or physical health, and career or educational opportunities.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

Hello Recovery Friends and New Visitors,


Since my last post, I'm Celebrating along side "The National Council Of Problem Gambling" all month long here on my Recovery Blog. As it is "Problem Gambling Awareness Month"....
So I "pledged" my blog to them to write, blog, and Advocate all things gambling recovery!


Yes boys and girls it’s time to take notes and open your “Skills” tool box and fill it with a few more tips on how to stay away from the “Relapse”….. http://www.ncpgambling.org
In my 1st blog post I spoke about the importance of "Step one," (if you follow & work the 12 Steps) and how it truly is the first HONEST step to starting recovery. You need to be willing to admit YOU are an addict as that it IS half the battle of your work.


We also know about “Phone Lists” that You should have one and USE it. I can not tell you how many times  calling another in recovery helped talk me out of my “trigger or urge” to go gamble. Most all the time the person can talk you out of it by reminding you the “HELL” of going out and having to start your time all over again. So lets talk a little about how to not have relapses while in recovery. As you can have none in yours, and if someone tells you otherwise they are full of SHIT! Relapse does NOT have to happen, nor “Be The Norm” as some councilors, therapists,, and specialists tell you. Many recover without a “binge or relapse.”

I have an excellent “Recovery Relapse Prevention Guide” work-book here on my blog on my recovery resources pages that was given to me when I started my long-term recovery 7 years ago. YES, it took me a few tries, 2 binges that almost killed me, and ended up in the hospital twice and in an Addiction/Mental Crisis Center twice, that’s why I rely on a STRONG Relapse Guide. I’ll be sharing from this guide snippets to help you so you won’t have to go through what I did! Here is a little from the guide;

RELAPSE PREVENTION

Relapse prevention is one of the most important aspects of treatment. In a study of many different addictions, approximately one/thirds of the patients relapsed within the first two weeks, sixty percent relapsed within the first three months, and sixty-seven within twelve months.
Most patients relapse within three months of leaving treatment. This is the period of highest risk. Members of Gamblers Anonymous must be willing to do almost anything to prevent relapse. They need to see themselves as clinging to an ice- covered cliff with their recovery support group holding the only rope. The most important thing they can do is go to meetings. Members who are working a daily program of recovery will not relapse. These behaviors are incompatible. Relapse is a process that begins long before making the first bet….
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Now I think we can all agree that those are lousy odds of recovery when we first start out, or if you’re coming out of treatment. But I learned the hard way that IT’S TRUE. The 2nd most important thing after admitting you are Powerless over your addiction is to find a Treatment program. There are many websites that offer Good Treatment Options. A couple that come to mind are, My Addiction http://www.myaddiction.com and http://gambling.supportgroups.com/ on support groups, set yourself up with a user & password and your enter a world of support, some Free treatment options for addicted gambling, and it’s confidential and anonymous! And also Gamblers Anonymous is an excellent resource too:

http://www.gamblersanonymous.org

*Here is a little more from the relapse guide, and feel free to “Copy & Paste” the guide for yourself to use, and it can be used for all types of Addictions*
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The Relapse Prevention Exercise for Gamblers is prevention, and requires working a daily program of recovery. The member must take his or her personal inventory at the end of every day. If any of the relapse symptoms become clear, immediate action must be taken.
Members must develop written plans detailing the exact things they are going to do if they get into trouble. Other people need to check each member daily for relapse warning signs. This can be done by family members, a sponsor, or someone from the workplace. This is a good reason for members to go to daily meetings and hang around other recovering people. Often other people can see what members are unable to see for themselves. The member needs to identify high risk situations that may trigger relapse, and to develop coping skills to deal with each situation. the more a member can practice these skills, the better off he or she will be in recovery. In meetings, members need to discuss high risk situations and help each other develop relapse prevention plans….

Each member will be different, most relapses occur when patients are experiencing the following high risk situations:
Negative emotions: Particularly anger and frustration. This could also be negative emotions such as boredom, jealousy, depression, anxiety, ect..
Social pressure: Being in a social situation where people are gambling, or being directly encouraged to gamble by someone. Interpersonal conflict: This can be a conflict with the parent, spouse, child, boss, friend, ect.. Positive emotions: Something positive happens and the member want to celebrate. This can be a promotion, wedding, birth of a child, graduation, ect..
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Here are some things YOU can do to be more aware and have a PLAN of action to keep YOU safe!;
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RELAPSE PREVENTION EXERCISE:

“DON’T TEMPT yourself, test your personal control and use an Exercise Plan”!!

Using the relapse exercise, members develop the skills necessary to deal with each of the high risk situations, then they practice the new skills until they become good at them. All members must role play gambling refusal situations, with an experienced member, until they can say no and feel relatively comfortable. They must examine and experience all their triggers, see through the first use, and learn how to deal with the euphoric recall.
Members must develop a plan for a slip. What are they going to do if they gamble again? Who are they going to contact? What are they going to say? This must be practiced again and again with other members.
The member must understand the behavior chain. They must also develop skills for changing their thoughts, feelings, and actions when they have problems. The members should know that gambling cravings will pass if they move away from the situation and use their new tools of recovery.


The Relapse Warning Signs
All relapses begin with warning signs that will signal you or your loved ones that you are in trouble. If you do not recognize these signs, you will decompensate and finally return to gambling again. All of these signs are reactions to stress, and they are a re-emergence of the disease. They are a means by which your body and mind are telling you that you are having problems. You need to recognize thirty-seven warning signs of relapse. You may not have all these symptoms before you begin gambling again, but you will have some of them long before you gamble. You must find which Symptoms are the most characteristic of you, and you must come up with COPING SKILLS for dealing with each symptom…..
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Listed below are the thirty-seven warning symptoms.
*Circle the ones that you have experienced before you gambled.*

1. Apprehension about well-being.
2. Denial
3. Adamant commitment to stop gambling.
4. Compulsive behavior
5. Compulsive attempts to impose abstinence on others.
6. Defensiveness
7. Impulsive behavior.
8. Loneliness
9. Tunnel vision.
10. Minor depression
11. Loss of constructive planning.
12. Plans begin to fail.
13. Idle day dreaming & wishful thinking.
14. Feeling nothing can be solved.
15. Immature to be happy.
16. Periods of confusion.
17. Irritation with friends.
18. Easily angered.
19. Irregular eating habits.
20.Listlessness.
21. Irregular sleeping habits.
22. Progressive loss of daily structure.
23. Periods of deep depression.
24. Irregular attendance at meeting.
25. Development of an “I don’t care” attitude.
26. Open rejection of help.
27. Dissatisfaction with life.
28. thoughts of social gambling.

29. Feeling of powerlessness or helplessness.
30. Self-pity
31. Conscious lying.
32. Complete loss of self-confidence.
33. Unreasonable resentments.
34. Discontinuing all treatment.
35. Start of controlled gambling.
36. Loss of control.
37. Overwhelming loneliness, frustration, anger, and tension.
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NOW, here is the “Fun and interacting” part of my recovery blog! I hope you will make this list, then how about you all leave a comment what # warning sign is the most difficult for YOU, and how YOU would handle or what skills would you use to help get you through one of the 37 Warning Symptoms? And since there is a lot to “Relapse Prevention” and I want you to get the MOST out of my blog posts to aid your recovery from addicted gambling, let do this blog post as a 2 or 3 part exercise? So this concludes the 1st part of relapse prevention, and I’ll give you a couple of days to “Comment” your answers. I’ll blog post PART 2 on Tue, March 4th, that evening after 6pm.
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I think this will be a fun idea so we can ALL LEARN a little something new together! And again, please feel free to copy and paste the full guide workbook listed on my Resources Page List! Together WE CAN RECOVER! If your interested, my current book is out NOW as e-book on Amazon Kindle! “Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a cheat) http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485 My true story of my life battling compulsive gambling addiction, living with Undiagnosed Bipolar, my childhood trauma, dark family secrets and Recovery!

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I Thank You all for taking time to come visit my recovery blog, and I appreciate all the LUV & Support TOO!
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GOD BLESS ALL,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

"When we believe in a Power Greater Then Ourselves, anything in LIFE is possible"!


 

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