Gambling occurs in many forms, most commonly 4D, TOTO, lotteries, casinos (slot machines, table games), bookmaking (sports and horse racing), card rooms, bingo and the stock market.
Gambling disorder is sometimes referred to as the "hidden illness" because there are no obvious physical signs or symptoms like there are in drug or alcohol use disorder. It devastates not only the gambler but everyone with whom they have a significant relationship. It is the inability to resist impulses to gamble and leads to significant personal, family and occupational difficulties.
The destructive cycle of Problem Gambling
When a problem gambler is on a winning streak, they lavish gifts on himself and others. You might receive unexpected treats and gifts. They credit their winnings to their ability or luck. There is a sense of invincibility which leads to betting larger amounts or making riskier bets.
When they start to move into the losing streak, instead of stopping, they "chase losses" - with the sole intent of winning back the money at all costs. Often, this tunnel vision results in deeper debt. They will only stop gambling after emptying out their personal savings and maxing out on debts (from family and friends, legal or illegal).
Although many problem gamblers may 'chase' for a short period of time, it is the frequent, and long-term, "chase" that is characteristic of gambling disorder. A problem gambler, in heavy debt, would be constantly thinking of ways to recoup their losses. Their solution is to gamble.
As a last resort, they will ask their family and friends for 'bailouts'. They often understate the actual amount of debt out of shame or to reduce the perceived severity of the debt problem. After bailing out, family and friends assume that the debt problem is settled. Unknown to them, there are unaccounted debts, unaccounted creditors. This secrecy is one major risk factor for relapse. Often triggered by the stress to repay creditors, the problem gambler resorts to gambling, for quick cash, which leads to more debt. The vicious cycle of chasing losses repeats itself.
Signs and Symptoms of Gambling Disorder
Help & Treatment
If you find yourself chasing losses, seeking professional help early can help to reduce the harmful consequences and costs of problem gambling.
Screening - The aim of the initial session is to identify the presence of gambling problems and/or effect of negative consequences of problem gambling. Any other existing mental health conditions are screened for in order to provide a deeper understanding of the client.
Assessment - This is a comprehensive understanding of the severity and depth of the problem gambling in the context of the client life's situation. The individual's strengths, weaknesses, problems and needs are accounted in order to collaborate an effective solution. A discussion of potential risks is also integrated into the treatment planning.
Treatment Planning + Counselling - The treatment plan is tailored to the client's needs. Immediate and long-term goals are established. A discussion of WE CARE's holistic services is included in the treatment planning. Brief therapy is provided to problem gamblers. For compulsive gamblers, an intensive and long-term recovery approach is more appropriate.
G.R.I.P. is a counselling treatment programme for persons with a gambling problem. The programme involves the individual, as well as the family members, in counselling and self-help groups.
GRIP Programme Structure:
Depending on needs, some clients may require further sessions after the initial phase of programme. This programme is co-funded by the Ministry of Social and Family Development.
To download flyer, click here.
To make an appointment, call 3165 8017 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WE CARE has a support group called “Family and Friends Support Group”. Facilitated by WE CARE counsellors, this group is meant for caregivers, spouses, partners, family members or friends affected by an addicted loved one.
"Family & Friends" teaches effective strategies for self-care and how to cope with the recovering addict. The support group focuses on changing the way you interact with the recovering loved one. Using the CRAFT Model and SMART Recovery tools, we will touch on important topics that family members and friends experience, including:
The goals for "Family & Friends" are
"Family & Friends" takes place twice a month. For details, check out the schedule here.
If you are an affected caregiver. family member or friend and you wish to attend "Family & Friends", contact Sida at 3165 8017 or NoorSida@wecare.org.sg to register.
SMART stands for Self-Management & Recovery Training. Participants learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community which includes free, self-empowering, science-based mutual help groups. All facilitators are registered SMART Recovery Facilitators.
SMART is an ongoing closed group and caters to individuals with a history of addiction. Interested participants are required to undergo a clinical intake before attending SMART Recovery.
If interested, please email email@example.com
Details of the schedule for SMART can be found here
Mindfulness For Recovery
Mindfulness for Recovery is an open group to learn and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness helps participants to break away from their own destructive habitual patterns. All facilitators have personal experience practising mindfulness. This group is catered for people with a history of addictions, reactive behaviours and/or mood disorders.
Details of the schedule for Mindfulness can be found here
To register: call 3165 8017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org