Gambling can be addictive and destructive, especially for people who turn to the tables and slots to get away from the stress of daily life. While many women may initially enjoy the glitz and glamour of Casinos, the mindsets leading them down a path to compulsive gambling are typically quite different than men.
The Emotional Connection to Gambling
What psychological risk factors explain why some women develop compulsive gambling disorders? Let's look at three main factors:
This goes back to the glitz and glamour of social gambling. The rush from winning creates the additional anticipation of something bigger. If it was a difficult day, having the spotlight on you as a winner can make you feel good, even for a brief moment or two. The perception is usually one of a quick fix. "I have a little time, so I'll just pop in and play a game or two." This eventually turns into frequent trips, or longer sessions spent playing their favorite slots.
Women also tend to prefer gambling socially. Whether it’s to feel safer, less pressured, or even so they can catch up with friends while playing, women do not like to sit in silence at the casino.
- Wanting To Escape
Women tend to internalize a lot of their stress and disappointment. Playing the machines to block out the stress of daily life and other, more serious issues, is a common theme among women who develop unhealthy gambling habits. Slot machines with their bright, fantastical colours and themes are by nature designed to entertain, and create a sense of 'escape'. Repetitive gambling on slots can put one into almost a trance-like state, oblivious to the outside world and financial impacts of repetitive gambling.
- Dysfunctional relationships
Women who have too much on their plates or are experiencing dysfunctional relationships, domestic violence or abuse of some kind may turn to online gambling as their refuge. They may be having issues at home, are tired of being the caregiver of the children, or they fear fully committing. Gambling helps them self-medicate and, in their minds, they truly believe they are not “harming” anyone else, despite the devastating emotional, psychological and financial effects of compulsive gambling.
Why many women hide their gambling addiction
Women tend to feel embarrassed when they need to seek mental treatment for gambling, or try to hide their gambling addiction for as long as possible. It is not uncommon to find women starting to gamble at an older age where they are feeling lonely because the kids are older or have left home, their spouse may have distanced themselves or passed on, and the quiet at home is too much to bear.
Getting the help needed to figure out the triggers and restore quality of life is key. Algamus Gambling Treatment Services is one of the only residential gambling treatment programs in the U.S., designed to assist patients discover, experience and put into practice the skills needed to successfully recover.
Gambling Addiction Treatment Focused on Women
Being able to participate in female focused gambling treatment can help address the process addiction of gambling, as well as any potential emotional issues that the client may be experiencing in her life.
Our mission is to create a safe environment for women that allows them to slow down and begin healing the effects of addictive gambling on them, their loved ones, and even friends and employers. At Algamus we recognize that compulsive gambling treatment needs to be individualized which is why we offer a female specific focus for our female clients.
Our 30-day+ residential gambling treatment program gently guides the addicted female gambler into a place of acceptance and empowerment to make the behavioral changes needed to create a life free from gambling and other addictive behaviors. Some of our treatment methods include:
- Cognitive & behavioral therapy;
- 12-Step programs like Gamblers Anonymous;
- Somatic Release;
At Algamus, we are an intimate program and or staff to patient ratio is almost one to one. Clients have the opportunity to share and heal, surrounded by other women in gambling recovery who can relate to their struggles. Ready to start healing? Reach out today.