Problem gambling is an extremely common social activity that affects many people of all ages. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is a proven method of treatment. Learn more about the risk factors that may lead to gambling addiction. You may be surprised to learn that gambling is actually the number one risk factor for developing mental health problems. This article will explore the symptoms and risks of problem gambling and offer strategies for avoiding the disorder. Then, you’ll be better equipped to take the steps necessary to stop gambling for good.
Problem gambling is a widespread social activity
A recent study found that nearly 60% of people with problem gambling were unemployed for more than a month, and almost one-third of them had received social benefits in the past year. The reason for this lack of employment may not be related to the activity, but literature suggests that people with problem gambling generally report poorer work performance than their peers. Moreover, gambling can lead to criminal acts within the workplace. It is a widely-accepted fact that problem gambling is widespread amongst society.
It affects people of all ages
Despite what most people assume, gambling affects people of all ages and races. While most people associate problem gambling with the young and the middle-aged, senior citizens are one of the fastest-growing groups of problem gamblers. The baby-boomer generation is currently approaching retirement and the number of senior citizens affected by gambling is projected to rise. Seniors may be more isolated than younger people, due to physical limitations or the loss of social interactions. They may also appear withdrawn or unavailable much of the time.
It can be treated with cognitive-behavioural therapy
Various approaches are used to treat pathological gambling. Cognitive-behavioural therapy focuses on different ways of thinking and feeling when gambling. The aim is to change these patterns and make gambling more enjoyable. Unlike traditional therapy, this method is short-term and does not require protracted clinical involvement. It includes a screening for gambling disorders, information about harmful consequences of excessive gambling, and advice on how to reduce harm caused by gambling. The results of the program show that it reduces the negative impacts of pathological gambling.
There are risk factors
While there are a number of risk factors that influence a person’s gambling behavior, there are no proven mechanisms to prevent gambling addiction. Nevertheless, there are certain risk factors that are relevant to all gamblers, regardless of age, gender, and level of formal education. A recent study by Bastiani et al. (2013) tested the relevance of different risk factors for different gambling problem groups. While age and gender were related to problem gambling, only tobacco use was associated with moderate-risk gamblers.
Among the many types of treatment available for people who are struggling with gambling problems, day treatment sessions are an excellent option. Unlike outpatient treatment, these sessions focus on the problem at hand and provide an opportunity for ongoing support. The most common form of therapy for gambling addiction is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which works to replace negative beliefs about gambling with healthy ones. Support groups like AA and NA are also effective. These groups usually consist of a 12-step program.