A person with a gambling addiction will need to gamble more in order to achieve the same “high.” This cycle becomes a vicious cycle as the craving for more gambling is compounded. With every gamble, the person becomes less able to resist the urge to gamble and eventually loses control over their impulses. Various forms of gambling addiction can affect a person’s social, psychological, and professional lives. For more information, visit the Gambling Treatment Center.
Treatments for problem gambling include behavioral therapies, counseling, and even medication. While no single treatment is the best, there are some that are more effective than others. Until recently, no medication was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for pathological gambling. Fortunately, today there are more options than ever. Here are some of the most effective methods for problem gamblers. One of the most effective treatments is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This therapy aims to change the unhealthy gambling thoughts and behaviors of a person who has a gambling problem.
Generally speaking, problem gambling is a disorder in which an individual becomes obsessed with gambling and can’t resist it. Unlike compulsive gambling, problem gambling is defined by an urge to gamble regardless of the consequences. Problem gambling interferes with a person’s life in various ways, causing financial, social, and emotional consequences. Some of the primary symptoms of problem gambling include hiding gambling evidence from others, feeling guilty, and skipping family and social activities. If left untreated, problem gambling can lead to a catastrophic outcome.
Signs of a problem
Many signs of a problem with gambling are similar to those of drug addictions. If the person is spending hours on end playing gambling games, the time they spend with family and friends will diminish. It may also result in them giving up favorite activities or hobbies. The problem can lead to significant financial problems. The person may be borrowing money, having trouble paying back loans, or not preparing meals. Even their sleep can be disturbed.
Identifying a problem with gambling isn’t always easy. Some people may not express their feelings or may lie about it. If the problem is discovered, the person may feel angry or embarrassed. They may even lie about it, going to extreme lengths to avoid confronting themselves. These people may have a hard time revealing their gambling habit because they feel like others should have detected their problem sooner. Even if they do admit to having a gambling problem, they may be unable to talk about it.
In addition to professional treatment, self-help interventions for gambling disorder can help addicts cope with their addiction and overcome barriers to seeking treatment. Gamblers Anonymous meetings are a common example of such an intervention. Newer interventions include bibliotherapy and self-directed computer interventions. These methods can be effective after 3 months of no gambling. While most treatments for gambling disorder focus on the psychological causes of the addiction, there are also several options for medication.
Psychological interventions for gambling include cognitive therapy. CBT has been scientifically tested and has proven to reduce excessive gambling behavior by altering the person’s beliefs about gambling. The cognitive aspects of this therapy include problem-solving techniques, social skills training, and relapse prevention. Various pharmacological therapies are available, including cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. However, some studies have not shown success. A study by Hollander et al. found that SSRIs were not effective for individuals with gambling addiction.
Statistics of gambling show that 76% of adult Canadians play some sort of gambling game at one time or another. This is nearly 30 million people! While gambling is a popular and culture-dependent pastime for many, statistics on the industry show that it is also very harmful for society. Gambling has been linked to crime, fraudulence, and bankruptcy cases. It has even led to divorce and split families. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the negative effects of gambling.
In the United Kingdom, excessive gambling costs the country more than 1.2 billion pounds every year. It costs the country money through special institutions, homelessness, and police involvement. Statistics show that approximately 23 million adults will be affected by gambling influences in their lifetimes. While the number of people affected by gambling activity varies by age group, men are more at risk than women, and those who are unemployed and people of color are at the highest risk.