When you have a gambling addiction, or any other addiction for that matter, it becomes very easy to substitute addictions. As a matter of fact, substitute addictions are very common, and can occur when you least expect it.
When you have a gambling addiction and you begin to abstain, an abundance of emotions start to come up. This is totally normal, however, it can be quite painful as well.
While you are actively engaging in addictive behavior, you tend to numb out your feelings. If you have a gambling problem, your attention is most likely on your addiction and not on any troubling emotional feelings you may have.
If you are active in your gambling addiction, you are most likely preoccupied with the high of gambling, your next gambling excursion, or how to obtain funds to finance your gambling.
While you are abstaining from your problem, however, your true emotions and thoughts begin to come through. These buried thoughts and feelings are the feelings that you have been hiding through your addictive behavior.
If you do not have a strong support system such as a counselor or therapist or a good support group, it becomes very easy to become overwhelmed with these buried emotions.
Once anxiety or that old friend depression start to surface, it becomes very easy to substitute addictions. Turning to food, drugs, alcohol, shopping, or sex can happen in an instant and it can truly stop the recovery process from happening.
It is best to be aware of the occurrence of substitute addictions when you stop gambling. Awareness can help you prevent a substitute addiction in its a tracks.