Problem gambling requires a decision. You must resist the urge to gamble. You need to remove your credit cards and let someone else manage your money. Have your bank make automatic payments and close online betting accounts. You should carry limited cash on you at all times. If you’re already addicted to gambling, consider seeking professional help. You should stop gambling as soon as you notice that you’re losing control of your finances. This article provides some tips to help you break the habit.
Although problem gambling has long been recognized as a mental health disorder, it has only been recently that the criteria for this condition have been formalized and standardized. These diagnostic criteria, derived from the work of Robert Custer, were first published in 1980. Today, these criteria are based on a more evaluative process, which includes surveying 222 compulsive gamblers and 104 social gamblers with substance abuse problems.
The research community uses the term problem gambling in different ways, but generally refers to individuals who fall short of pathological gambling but display symptoms of compulsive behavior. Generally, this type of gambling causes serious harm to a person’s health and quality of life, including compromising relationships, professional performance, and vocational pursuits. The National Council on Problem Gambling describes the continuum of gambling difficulties with pathological gambling at the extreme. Problem gamblers commit more time, energy, and resources to their gambling than do those with less serious addictions.
Addiction to gambling
There are several ways to treat gambling addiction. Many people with the disorder do not seek treatment until major problems arise. It is important to understand that the first step to treatment is recognition of a dependence problem. During a professional treatment, a multidisciplinary team will work to reduce symptoms of gambling addiction and improve quality of life. While most people with a gambling problem will not admit they have a problem, they may want to seek treatment if they suspect their life is affected by excessive gambling.
In the beginning, the gambling addict might feel elated and compelled to place a risky bet. This could lead to a high-stakes game. When a person falls in the trap of a gambling addiction, they cannot stop until they have recovered the money they have lost. This cycle is often unbreakable and can have serious consequences for a person’s physical and emotional health. Gambling addiction is difficult to overcome, but there is hope.
Signs of problem gambling
While it can be difficult to detect a problem with gambling, there are several telltale signs that suggest that you may be suffering from this addiction. A person with a gambling problem may not display any of the signs that are typically associated with drug or alcohol addiction. They may also lie about their behavior and feel embarrassed or resentful if you question them. Sometimes, a person will try to hide the problem by lying about their location or behavior.
Generally, people with problem gambling spend a significant portion of their time gambling. They place larger bets more frequently, racking up increasing debts. Some of these people even borrow money from family and friends to fund their gambling habit. Even worse, they might be so desperate that they go on to engage in other activities after they win the big jackpot. Sadly, problem gamblers often find it difficult to stop their behavior, and their lives begin to suffer.
Treatment for problem gambling
Treatment for problem gambling is typically a combination of counseling, step-based programs, self-help, peer-support, and medication. There is no one treatment that is the most effective for this disorder. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any medications to treat pathological gambling. A number of mental health issues are associated with problem gambling, including depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. For these reasons, treatment options vary widely.
Several therapies are available for problem gambling, including behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family therapy. SSRIparoxetine, an antipsychotic drug, has shown promising results in treating pathological gambling. The opioid antagonist drug nalmefene has also been trialled for compulsive gambling. Self-help toolkits and self-administered CBT are also useful. Several research studies have analyzed the effectiveness of these treatments.