Are you concerned that you’ve become addicted to gambling? If so, you’re not alone. Gambling can be a source of entertainment, but when it becomes a problem, it can cause problems. In this article, we’ll look at some signs that you may be a victim of compulsive gambling, and some of the treatments available. If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you should seek professional help.
The term “problem gambling” is used to describe a condition in which a person has an excessive interest in or dependence on gambling. Problem gambling is a disease that damages the lives of the person concerned, not only financially but emotionally as well. Problem gambling may be mild or severe, and it can progress into a criminal activity if left untreated. Problem gambling can affect anyone, from teenagers to aging adults, and is common among many demographic groups. Some of the common behaviors associated with problem gambling are excessive risk taking, gambling with increasing amounts of money, and making up for losses with gambling.
A recent study found that 68% of adolescents in the United States were problem gamblers in the past year. In contrast, the prevalence of problem gambling in Canada was only 2.2%. Studies conducted in the United States have shown wide regional differences in the rate of adolescent problem gambling. In Canada, adolescent problem gambling is more common amongst low-income groups than among high-income families. There are few studies of adolescent problem gambling, but several countries have reported high rates of adolescent problem gambling.
Types of problem gambling
There are different types of problem gambling, which may not always be apparent. Although they are not set in stone, they are guidelines for identifying problem gambling behaviors. For example, some people develop gambling addictions despite the fact that they are socially acceptable. Other types of problem gambling include obsessive-compulsive disorder and alcohol or drug addiction. The National Council on Problem Gambling keeps track of the different types and new ones are often identified.
These two types of gambling often coexist, and each one can cause significant changes to a person’s character and behavior. Oftentimes, lying goes hand-in-hand with problem gambling. People who engage in problem gambling may try to hide their habits, or worse, their losses. Gamblers’ eating and sleeping patterns may also change, and they may even start forming new peer groups. They may also obsessively monitor data and behaviors and their gambling habits. The effects of problem gambling are permanent, and are often related to other aspects of a person’s life, such as depression or substance abuse.
Signs and symptoms of compulsive gambling
If you are having trouble regulating your finances, it is likely you have a compulsive gambling problem. One common symptom of compulsive gambling is a need for constant money from friends or family. Compulsive gamblers will often use other people’s money and end up losing it in the gambling process. Fortunately, there are ways to recognize compulsive gambling.
Treatment for compulsive gambling may involve medication, behavior therapy, or family therapy. Some people can even take medications, including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and narcotic antagonists. Regardless of the form of treatment, the goal of treatment is to reduce the compulsion to gamble and develop healthier behaviors and thoughts. Signs and symptoms of compulsive gambling can be difficult to detect, but you should seek professional help if you suspect these conditions are affecting your life.
Among the treatment options for gambling addiction are residential rehabilitation facilities and outpatient counselling. The most common treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on challenging harmful gambling thoughts and behaviors. Support groups, similar to those for alcoholism or drugs such as AA or NA, are another option. A 12-step program is usually followed by members of these groups. The goal of residential rehabilitation is to eliminate the triggers and negative affects of gambling.
Problem gamblers have a tendency to be unwilling to accept reality and to engage in unhealthy behaviors. Immaturity and emotional insecurity can be factors that make gambling addictive. Problem gamblers often lie about their gambling habits and even engage in illegal behavior. In some cases, gambling addiction is accompanied by a co-occurring disorder. Treatment for this condition will be individualized based on the patient’s needs and history.