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Substance Use and Addictions


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Process addictions can lead to equally devastating outcomes; however, relative to substance addiction, there tends to be greater misunderstandings within the public that process addictions represent a bona fide mental health condition. For example, gambling addiction, or disordered gambling, is recognized as a mental illness within the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (2015). People with disordered gambling demonstrate significant difficulties discontinuing their gambling behaviour, tolerance (requiring larger bets to obtain the same effect), loss of control and even withdrawal symptoms (i.e., restlessness and irritability) when they are unable to gamble. Those addicted to gambling often find themselves in a vicious cycle of continuing to lose more monies in hopes of winning back previous losses. This cycle can lead to familial distress, strained marriages, bankruptcy and in some extreme cases, criminal behaviour to support gambling. At Paradigm Psychology we have special expertise in working with individuals with gambling addiction and have a strong understanding of how to deliver interventions best suited to helping individuals discontinue their gambling behaviour.