The 12 Steps To Recovery From Sex Addiction

Recovering from a sex addiction requires adhering to a 12 step program. Such programs have become synonymous with people’s efforts to change their lives and behaviors, and have been applied to everything including over-eating, sex, compulsive gambling, and drug addiction.

The original 12 step program was published by Alcoholics Anonymous in the late 1930s to treat addiction to alcohol. Since then, it has been adapted and directed towards other forms of addiction and compulsive behaviors and has been recognized by the American Psychological Foundation. Small details within each 12 step program change depending on what’s being treated, but all follow the same template. While there is debate on what defines addiction, many agree that the brain becomes dependent on chemicals either imbibed (alcohol) or produced naturally through a behavior, such as sex or gambling.

The 12 Steps:

Step one is the sex addict admitting they have no power over their sex addiction and that their lives have gotten out of control. This step essentially defines a sex addiction, a situation where a person no longer can control their sexual behavior despite it causing them problems. This may sound facetious, but if a sex addict could control their behavior, they would not be an addict. Admitting powerlessness also opens the door to getting outside help. A person with a broken leg does not try to mend it on their own, they call a doctor because they do not have the skills to heal themselves. It is no different with a sex addiction.

Step two is acknowledging there is a “higher power” that can help the addict with their addiction. This and the next step may be two of the least understood, as “higher power” generally refers to God. While many going through the 12 step program turn to the Christian faith, anything can serve as the higher power. A person can look to the sun, a favorite object, anything they can mentally equate with a power above themselves. Some neurologists have said the human brain is hardwired towards religion, and because of this it can be used as a powerful tool in influencing behavior.

A higher power plays the role of a neutral yet supportive third part in the sex addict’s life. It is not the addicts themselves, nor is it their therapist, nor is it a loved one the addict may have wronged or someone who will judge them.

The third step is giving themselves over to that higher power, as they understand it. Many sex addicts begin reading the Bible and attending religious services of their faith. Others will take up a different spiritual text as their understand of their higher power. The book or the faith or belief is not important here, what is important is that the reliance on self get turned over to a reliance on a higher power. Most religions have set guidelines on sexual conduct, as well as other aspects of life, and make for a ready made code of conduct a person can adhere to, at least until their lives are under their control once more.

Step four is where the sex addict gets to the “nitty gritty” of their problem and comes to see what it looks like from the outside by completing a “moral inventory” of themselves. This inventory documents their life and how and when their sexual habits, failings, and other common behaviors began in an effort to see the big picture and have an accurate understanding of what it is. Typically, a deadline is put on this step, as many addicts tend to get hung up on it, either because they find it difficult to examine themselves this way, or feel the need to be too thorough.

The fifth step involves taking that inventory and showing it to someone else, either a spouse, sponsor, clergy or trusted confidant, or even another sex addict further along in their treatment. This is done for a number of reasons. If a sex addict can share this, it means they are comfortable with it to a degree and will be able to open up further because seeing the behavior inventory may not be enough to let the sex addict truly see their problem or recognize patterns in their behavior. When it comes to the familiar, an addict sees what they intend rather than what really is. It’s the same as when an athlete needs a coach to check their stance or swing or attitude for their sport. So the sex addict needs another pair of eyes on their moral inventory to catch things and gain feedback from a different perspective.

Steps six and seven of the original Alcoholics Anonymous version are asking the higher power or God to remove the addict’s defects and to forgive them. Other, more secular minded versions describe these steps as similar transition periods. The sex addict goes from identifying the problem to recognizing that they, themselves, are now past that stage and can now expend energy enacting change. The addict is taught to see that the mistakes have been made cannot be unmade, and wishing to change the past is a waste of energy. While it’s not a “clear slate,” it is a shift of focus onto the present, which can be affected by the sex addict.

Step eight, while at first may seem like a look back, is actually for the addict to compile a list of people their sex addiction has harmed. This may be family they’ve neglected, spouses cheated on, and in extreme cases, victims of their sexual abuse. This step is sometimes broken down into smaller segments, identifying the types of relationships harmed by the sex addiction. In the case of deceased loved ones or people the addict cannot have contact with, this step serves as an emotional release by further letting the addict see the extent of the damage their behavior has caused.

The ninth step is an extension of the eighth, and involves making amends with the people identified in that step, when possible. It could be something as simple as a verbal apology, and may not be something that can be accomplished in a moment, a day, or even months. This step is distinctive to the individuals involved, and not completely possible in all cases.

Step 10 is continuing the list from step five, and admitting when a mistake has been made. This can expand beyond sexual behavior and include any kind of non-desirable actions or emotions. Negative feelings are what led the sex addict to compulsively seek the numbing behavior to start with. And being able to identify those trouble spots and handle them in a way that doesn’t feed a new addiction cycle is key. Sex addiction often comes with other forms of addiction, or can spin off into those other forms if the root cause is not being monitored.

Prayer and meditation are Step 11 in the program. Many call prayer and meditation one and the same, but whichever route the sex addict chooses, they should set aside time each day for quiet reflection. A daily pause is used as an anchor to keep the complexities of the addict’s outside world from becoming overwhelming. This step lets the sex addict remind themselves of their progress and the tools they have to fight their compulsions.

The final step is working with other sex addicts, or passing on some of the knowledge the addict has gained. The selfless side of this is ensures a pool of experienced teachers well versed in the subject matter who can perpetuate the program. The benefit to the addict doing the teaching is the same as to teacher; the one imparting the wisdom in turn learns more about what they’ve come to know. Having to articulate to another person what one has learned makes a person think about benefits in ways they hadn’t before, and leads to greater understanding.

Those are the basic 12 steps found in addiction recovery programs. Many are closely related, but together they show a progression. It should be noted this programs not a “do these 12 things and you’re cured” prescription, but at the higher levels are a lifelong set of behaviors. They may play a less active role in the recovering sex addict’s life as time goes on, but the inventory, meditation, and teaching tend to be in the background for a long time.

Addiction, The Silent Killer

The word “addiction” is derived from a Latin term for “enslaved by” or “bound to.” Anyone who has struggled to overcome an addiction or has tried to help someone else to do so understands why.

Addiction exerts a long and powerful influence on the brain that manifests in three distinct ways: craving for the object of addiction, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences.

Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable, but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.

The word addiction is used in several different ways. One definition describes physical addiction. This is a biological state in which the body adapts to the presence of a drug so that drug no longer has the same effect, otherwise known as a tolerance. Another form of physical addiction is the phenomenon of overreaction by the brain to drugs (or to cues associated with the drugs). An alcoholic walking into a bar, for instance, will feel an extra pull to have a drink because of these cues.

People with an addiction do not have control over what they are doing, taking or using. Their addiction may reach a point at which it is harmful.

Addictions do not only include physical things we consume, such as drugs or alcohol, but may include virtually anything, such abstract things as gambling to seemingly harmless products, such as chocolate – in other words, addiction may refer to a substance dependence (e.g. drug addiction) or behavioral addiction (e.g. gambling addiction).

However, most addictive behavior is not related to either physical tolerance or exposure to cues. People compulsively use drugs, gamble, or shop nearly always in reaction to being emotionally stressed, whether or not they have a physical addiction. Since these psychologically based addictions are not based on drug or brain effects, they can account for why people frequently switch addictive actions from one drug to a completely different kind of drug, or even to a non-drug behavior.

Addiction, often referred to as dependency often leads to tolerance – the addicted person needs larger and more regular amounts of whatever they are addicted to in order to receive the same effect. Often, the initial reward is no longer felt, and the addiction continues because withdrawal is so unpleasant.

When referring to any kind of addiction, it is important to recognize that its cause is not simply a search for pleasure and that addiction has nothing to do with one’s morality or strength of character.

Experts debate whether addiction is a “disease” or a true mental illness, whether drug dependence and addiction mean the same thing, and many other aspects of addiction. Such debates are not likely to be resolved soon.

Casino’s Popping Up Leads To Negative Impact on Economy

Casinos and other forms of gambling are popping up in almost every state. Every other day you hear of a new Indian Tribe that is looking for recognition. Once they receive their recognition, investors look to back these people up and in turn a new Casino is born. People all over the United States are using their paychecks for a chance to win big. In turn all of the local businesses are suffering to the point where they are now starting to file bankruptcy. Eventually, someone in political power will finally admit that the amount of money taken in from taxes on gambling is significantly less than the hardship created with the economy. Most states take in millions of dollars from their casinos, scratch tickets and lotto, but they don’t want to deal with the negative impact on the local businesses. Everyone knows there is a problem, but no one wants to face it.

People have no problem in spending hundreds and thousands of dollars at the Casino’s but will quickly get upset when gas rises ten cents per gallon or their child needs more school supplies. One mother told me she was very upset that the school system did not completely cover a field trip and that it would cost her $15.00 for each of her two children. She called the school and complained. This same person had no problem the night before losing $1,300.00 at the local casino. There’s no logic to this situation. In another situation, a person would steal sweet and low, butter and rolls from her local diner. She had money in her wallet but that was reserved for gambling. In both of these situations family members knew they had a gambling problem only after they noticed their quality of life was changing.

Everyone now knows someone who has a gambling problem. They don’t understand how this has happed to a loved one, but they know something has to change. The same situation occurs when you find out your brother is an alcoholic. You can’t close down every bar and you can’t bring back prohibition. You have to face it head on and look for alternatives to help your brother.

People now are beginning to speak out as the epidemic continues. A lot of people don’t even realize they have this addiction until their resources run out. Gamblers tell their friends I won $2000.00 at the Casino on Saturday, but they neglect to tell them they lost $5000.00 and the week before. Bad information is being spread in turn the recipients of this information head to the casino in an attempt to win big. If everyone won Casino’s would be out of business.

I have seen thousands of gambler’s lives destroyed because they do not know how to quit. Through education we can succeed at finding alternatives to help these people.

You may find the following websites helpful:

I Stopped Gambling So Can You

http://www.istoppedgambling.com/

Stop Gambling Books

[http://www.stopgamblinginformation.com/][http://www.stop-gambling-books.com/]

Compulsive Gambling Addiction

[http://www.compulsive-gambling-addiction.org/][http://www.compulsive-gambling-addiction.org/]

The 8 Cardinal Rules Of Gambling Responsibly

Being hooked to online casinos is easy, but getting out or being in control is difficult. Yet, with these tips, one can ensure that they are having a good time without being addicted.

Gamble for sheer pleasure and diversion

Play only for the sake of having fun. This should be the mantra of every potential online casino member. Indeed, winning can be addictive to some sort. But always remember that there will be rough times. Enjoy the game, nothing more, nothing less.

Setting caps or limits

Addiction begins when control falters. Online casinos can give you all the thrill and adventure that you want, yet, it can also take everything that you own. This is why observing a ceiling with regards to the amount of time spent and money used should be always practiced.

Do not be too desperate

Desperation occurs when a player desperately tries to break even or in other words-chase his or her losses. By doing this, a member breaks the second rule. Players will always have the time to visit online casinos. Losses are losses and chasing all of them is not a very smart move.

Have a break

Getting breaks is also a way of setting limits. By taking constant breaks, the attention is diverted to something else and if the other activity is taking one’s focus, being addicted can be avoided.

Do not use your emergency funds

The money that is allotted for monthly bills and other important expenses should not be used when playing in online casinos. One can allot funds for playing casino games. However, the ones that are budgeted for everyday needs should remain intact.

Assess thy self

The problem with addiction is that players often fail to check themselves or refuse to check their daily habits. Always remember, change comes from within.

Seek other forms of diversion

Online casinos are sustainable forms of diversion. But for sure, there are other activities that are worthy of one’s time and effort. Players must seek out other events that cater to their specific interests.

Seek help

Once the player sees that he or she is slowly falling into addiction, seeking professional help is a must. This is something that should be sought immediately.

There is nothing wrong with playing in online casinos. The most important thing is to know how to control one’s action and if professional help is needed, a player should be readily open to accept this fact and perform the necessary treatment and counseling.

Teenage Gambling At Post Prom High School Party

The latest trend to hit high schools is supervised teenage gambling at the Post Prom School Party. Over the past few months I have received numerous emails from parents, students and school faculty expressing concern about the new alternative entertainment. In all cases these people believe it would do more harm then good.

The concept became reality for students once the Post Prom Committee voted to accept this new alternative entertainment.

This Post Prom Committee believes this is safe night party for the High School prom. The students who are taking part are between the ages of sixteen and eighteen years old. Each student is able to purchase fake money to gamble with and at the end of the night they can trade this money in for prizes with at the end of the night. Some parents believe this is a safe wonderful event for their children. While others believe this is one area they prefer their kids not be involved with.

One of the emails I received was from a family who home schools their five children. I was surprised since their kids were not involved. She had explained to me that her daughter who is seventeen has friends who attend the public school system. She went on to tell me the negative behavior exhibited by these teens after the event took place. In fact they taught her daughter how to play black jack and poker. This is a good neighborhood that has strong community ties. She also informed me that she not see the difference between using fake money or real money when you still have a chance to win a prize that has value. She believes these teens are being educated on how to gamble, win and take the easy way out.

People in favor of this gambling event, nicely told those who were against it to have their teenager’s stay home. It was my understanding the post prom parties were supposed to be for everyone.

It surprised me that a school district finds gambling night an acceptable behavior for our teenagers.

I have seen first hand the self destruction gambling can do to teenagers and adults. It’s my belief that gambling should be limited to people who are eighteen and over.

Another email was asking me for the specific statistics on the negative impact on a teenager’s who attend a gambling event. General statistics reflect a percentage of those in attendance will develop a compulsive gambling addiction. Some of these same students may become addicted at some point in their life. I have found that addictions to gambling are not age sensitive. People of any age who are gambling for the very first time can develop a gambling addiction. Usually a friend or family member takes them to the gambling establishment. I first found it difficult to understand how a person who is sixty five retired and on a fixed income gets addicted to gambling. The seniors I spoke with were very upset and didn’t understand how this happened to them. The unfortunate part is they lost their pensions and now only have their Social Security to live on. In one case the Grandmother has to move in with her daughter.

There is very little difference between supervised gambling and allowing supervised drinking alcoholic beverages or serving the students there choice of dugs on a silver platter. If a Principal served a student an alcoholic drink he would be arrested. I am trying to understand how school educators and parents can distinguish between alcohol and gambling on school property. How is one more acceptable then the other?

Studies have shown that there is a correlation between alcohol addiction and gambling addiction. The correlation was based on individuals who attend both Gamblers Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

It would be a shame to find out ten years from now that students who took part in supervised gambling at the High School level their future was compromised by a life of self destruction and low self esteem.

It’s a proven statistics that students who gamble get a similar rush as if they just had an alcoholic beverage. The only difference here they will not wake up with a hang over and the side effects are minimal until it’s too late.

We have now given our students another option in life. The major concern is the student’s will probably like the rush from gambling a lot more then alcohol and or drugs since there is no hang over or smell. Some students are likely to continue gambling. Students with A grades are not exempt from this. Statistics show that compulsive teenage gamblers are also very bright and articulate individuals.

People need to be educated on teenage gambling and its long term affects. It’s illegal to gamble if you are under 18. It’s also illegal to drink if you are under 18 (some places 21) and it’s illegal to smoke cigarettes if you are under 18. These laws were set for a reason. Another email I received wanted to know do these school systems have any respect for the Law?

I emailed each of the people and asked why haven’t they raised their concerns to the school board? They all responded the same. “We are the minority and now we look bad in front of our kids.” This is truly a no win situation.

The parents who are against this sort of entertainment believe; if just one student develops a compulsive gambling addiction that is one too many.

For more information on Stop Teenage Gambling Website [http://www.teenage-gambling-addiction.org] and I Stopped Gambling So Can You http://www.istoppedgambling.com/.

I’ve Been In And Out Of Addiction Rehab – Now What?

If you have been diagnosed as addicted to alcohol, drugs or gambling and have been admitted to an addiction recovery clinic, you are given utmost support to recover from your addiction. The staffs of the rehab centre, as well as your family and friends, are also there to help you get through the addiction treatment process. Now that you have finished your detoxification and addiction treatment, what’s next?

What lies ahead of you? If you are serious about living life anew, you should totally put your addiction to past. You should avoid getting tempted to your addiction again. Don’t get into drugs, alcohol and gambling. The temptation can be strong but you can surely battle it out. These after-treatment pointers will help you out:

o Be committed to change. Unless you personally commits to recovering from addiction, you will go back to your old habits again and again. So tell yourself, that you are finally quitting and there is no way that you are getting back to it.

o Attend an after-treatment therapy. Some addiction recovery clinics offer after-rehab treatments. This is their way of helping the users face life with bright hopes. Sometimes your own experience can serve as inspiration to others who are trying to recover from their own addictions as well. So spend some time sharing your experience at the rehab centre.

o Treasure your health. You should understand that maintaining a healthy body is a prerequisite of happy living. When you start to become conscious of your health, avoiding your addiction – drug, alcohol and gambling – will come naturally. Also start prioritising healthy eating habits. When you eat healthily, your body functions well and you will feel content and happy. No need for drugs, alcohol or gambling to keep your well being high.

o Continue detoxifying. The best way to detoxify the body from all harmful chemicals is to drink plenty of water. It is also believed that water contributes in calming a person’s mood.

o When the craving for alcohol, drugs or gambling haunts you, divert your attention to something else. Try exercising or going out with friends (no drinking alcohol involved).

o Maintain a strong spiritual life. The spiritual aspect of a person is also taken cared of at most addiction rehab centres.

Staying away from your old addiction is easy if you are serious about it. The support which your family and friends give you plays an important role as well.

What Are The Types of Depression Treatment?

In case the person is afraid to consult the doctor then the problem can get severe with the time and the result will be therapies. So, it is necessary to treat the problem on time to ovoid future problem s which will lead you to the therapies and medication to treat your problem. There are various types of treatments that can help you to overcome the problem of depression and live your life in normal and enjoyable way. If in case, the problem is severe then you need to take the treatment as soon as possible because more severe depression sometimes can make the problem severe which cannot be handle by the doctor. Here in this article, we have explained a few types of depression treatment.

Conversation therapy – This treatment is also known as talking therapy and is used to treat mild to severe type of depression. The treatment is very effective as it helps the person to get rid of depression and problems of life that contribute to their illness to regain the sense of control in the mind. The treatment is for all the people belonging to different age group.

Electric current treatment – In this treatment, an electric current is used to attack in the brain of the patient by releasing the chemicals inside the brain which make communication between the nerves. This treatment is only used if the person is suffering from severe problem.

Medications – You cannot rely only on the medicines although they can provide relieve to you, but they are not suitable for long time. The treatments like exercise and therapy are also very effective provide by rehab gambling addiction and are often used by the doctors as they do not give any kind of unwanted side effects. If in case, you are taking medicines then keep in mind that it can work well only for mild to moderate problem of depression. The medicines are used to treat the problem related to depression and the doctor can suggest your various medications based on the problem and symptoms.

Social care – The problem can be treated by making more social connections as the doctor’s state that the more social connection you have the less prone you are to depression. So, you can talk to your friends and family members about your problem.

In case you are suffering from depression or drug addiction problem then you can consult rehab gambling addiction that can help you to get rid of drug addiction or depression problem.

The Day I Decided To Stop Gambling With Gamblers Anonymous

Everything was going perfect for me in life. Good job, good home, good life and good friends. Until one day some friends asked if I wanted to go to the casino. By the time I realized it, three years of my life were gone and I was in debt. It was time to quit.

The day I decided to stop gambling I was depressed and relieved at the same time. I couldn’t go on any longer. I thought all my hopes and dreams were shattered. I couldn’t tell anybody what I was going through. I was afraid that they would be disappointed in me. I remember the first day. I was nervous and anxious. I had a hard time focusing at work. This was not my first time trying to quit. I was sure I really wanted to quit, but wasn’t sure if I could quit.

The day I decided to quit I had no where to turn. I found it was difficult to talk to my family and friends about my problem. I began to do research and found Gamblers Anonymous. I wanted to give Gamblers Anonymous a try. I happened to have met a lot of nice people there. They welcomed me into the group and made me feel comfortable. I had tears coming down my face and my anxiety kicked in. I was very quiet buy my emotions were running wild inside. I made it through my first meeting and was somewhat looking forward to the next one. As each week passed new members would join and others would disappear. This became a weekly event. Who was going to come back and who was going to stay?

I continued to go to my Gamblers Anonymous meeting on a weekly basis. I was always afraid some one would recognize me. The turn over was extraordinary. Each week as I entered the meeting my heart began to race until I was sure I didn’t know any of the new members. It was the tenth week and an old co-worker of mine walked through the doors. We hadn’t worked together for over ten years. I thought about leaving but I decided to stay and try and work it out. Unfortunately he did not keep the Gamblers Anonymous code. He had told a friend who told another friend until it got back to me. It was unfortunate, but I dealt with it and moved on.

I and others unfortunately had other situations occur that were not very positive for us at Gamblers Anonymous. I still thank them for putting me on the road to recovery. From the first time I entered Gamblers Anonymous and followed up with the website I Stopped Gambling So Can You http://www.istoppedgambling.com/

I believe I am on the road to recovery. I take one day at a time and allow myself the option to gamble or not to gamble. This helped me to take control of my life. By allowing myself to make the choice the amount of stress on me has been significantly reduced.

A month after I stopped going to Gamblers Anonymous meetings, I ran into one of the members. He was curious at how I was doing and asked me if I would be there next week? I told him I would try and make the meeting. I popped in a few times more to tell them how I was doing. They were all glad to see me, but I wasn’t in compliance with the rules of Gamblers Anonymous, so I decided not to go back. In this particular group I attended, they have rules that do not allow a member to comment during therapy if they did not attend four consecutive weekly meetings. I respected their rules but realized it was time to move on. I told the group and thanked them very much for putting me in the right direction and left.

After this experience I created a website that would allow people to be themselves as they recover. This site is also the closest to anonymous you can get. There you will also find a private stop gambling chat room and a self help manual to help gamblers stop compulsive gambling addiction. The website is I Stopped Gambling So Can You http://www.istoppedgambling.com/.

My experience from Gamblers Anonymous meetings to now has helped me to stop gambling. I stopped so can you!

Gambling Addiction Signs

Gambling addictions are on the rise due to game shows on televisions. Game shows and gambling spots provide the venue for people to bet excessively. In fact you can even place your bet online or by a mere phone call. Compulsive gambling present a grave concern because of money problems, family relationship as well as professional life. There are others who commit suicide when the going gets tough.

Gambling is often associated with the male populace, in some tribal groupings and people with low income. Gambling also induces people to smoke and drink a lot. Gambling addiction is a type of addiction wherein a person loses control over betting and that compulsiveness to pursue the adrenaline or natural high a person often experiences when making a bet. It can direct a person to continually place more bets without thought and care of the things that are going on around him or her.

This type of behavior can be disastrous and affects a person physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. Records will show that suicidal attempts have increased from 17 to 24 percent. Gamblers often deny that they are hooked and are not amenable in searching for an expert’s help. Medical practitioners are now advised to ask if any of their patients have gambling habits or activities.

Indicators of gaming obsession are the following: too much preoccupation about gambling, the urge to put increased wagers with the thought that he or she will win back the money he or she has lost, staying behind office works just to bet and not going home at all, an alternative to get away from stress, indebtedness and cheating to get money to support this bad habit. Oftentimes, compulsive gamblers forget their responsibilities and obligations at home.

Gamblers are of two types. The action gamblers are basically males who have started betting in their early years. These types of gamblers have high IQs and have turned to betting to make full use of their intelligence. They are usually into black jack, poker, sports and stocks.

The second type is the escape gamblers and generally composed of women. These types of gamblers are in their 30s or even older. They go into gambling as an outlet for their emotional and physical burden. They usually go for slots machine, bingo or lottery that will not ask for too much from them.

The Dangers Of Gambling Abuse And Addiction

So, how do you know if you or someone you love have a gambling problem?

First of all it’s important to note that compulsive gambling is a psychological condition that makes people unable to control their desire to gamble. Many crave the feeling they have when they gamble and seek this experience on a daily basis, no matter whether they’re on a winning or losing streak.

Compulsive gamblers may start betting small amounts, but sooner or later start to wager higher bets in order to get the same feelings of excitement they had when they first started playing. Compulsive gamblers often feel agitated and restless if they are unable to gamble and can feel a strong desire to gamble when other aspects of their lives are weighing them down. Compulsive gamblers may also believe that gambling is the only way to pay off debts and keep believing that it’s only a matter of time before they hit the elusive jackpot. Some compulsive gamblers may find themselves lying to friends and families and in some cases stealing money or goods to pay for their gambling habit.

Not all compulsive gamblers will exhibit each of these qualities, but if you recognise just a few of these in yourself or someone close to you then it could be time to seek help.

Compulsive gambling is treatable and there are a number of wonderful organisations set up to deal specifically with this problem.

Gamblers Anonymous is probably the most well-known and widespread and is based on a 12-step program similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous. Members meet on a regular basis to share experiences and listen to each others stories and you will find that there are literally hundreds of Gamblers Anonymous groups situated all over the world. Go to the Gamblers Anonymous website for more information (www.gamblersanonymous.com) or check your local newspaper.

Gam-Anon is another well-respected self-help organization whose motto is “serenity, courage, wisdom. “Their website provides a solid resource into the issues surrounding compulsive gambling and meetings are held regularly. (www.gam-anon.org).

The National Council on Problem Gambling is a government sponsored organization with branches across the USA. The website also has a lot of information which you may find useful. (www.ncpgambling.org).

Other countries will also have their own groups and organizations which may be publicly or privately run. Again check your local newspaper or phone book for more information.

Remember, compulsive gambling is a mental health issue for which there is help and support. If you feel that gambling is dominating your life in a way that is harmful or unhealthy, then perhaps its time to talk to someone about it.