Gambling can have a major impact on a person’s mental health. Like other addictive behaviors, it can be treated. Many people choose cognitive behavioural therapy for their gambling addiction. This type of therapy works by exploring the reasons that a person believes they’re more likely to win at gambling games than others. They may even believe certain rituals will bring them luck. Another reason people engage in gambling is because they feel that they can make up for lost money by playing more.
Gambling is a popular pastime, but it can have negative consequences if it becomes a habit. Although most people do it for fun, problem gambling can have serious consequences, not only for the individual but also for their families and friends. This hidden addiction does not usually show outward symptoms. If you are concerned that your gambling habit is getting out of control, contact a professional. There are 24-hour Problem Gamblers Helplines that can provide assistance.
There are several types of problem gambling, and each one has a different etiology and treatment. Those with a gambling problem will likely fall into one of three categories: impulsivity, social withdrawal, and pathological gambling. Gamblers with these comorbidities may be more likely to develop a gambling problem. However, the symptoms of these disorders are often the same for all individuals. The difference is the degree of severity of the disorder, and if you are a person with a gambling problem, you will be assessed with the DSM-IV.
Signs of a problem gambler
There are several signs of a problem gambler. These people often stay in one location for long periods of time, skipping meals and missing work. They may also show abrupt changes in behaviour, shifting from polite to abusive. Problem gamblers may blame others for their losses and claim that games are rigged or that certain objects owe them money. Signs of a problem gambler include the following:
There are many ways to lose money through gambling. Advertising for gambling is ubiquitous and inevitably draws people into this destructive habit. It is estimated that there are 1.4 million problem gamblers in the UK alone, and at least five million people are affected by this harmful addiction. Cognitive impairment, depression and illness can all make a person more likely to gamble. An environment of poor supervision may also encourage the habit. If these signs are present in a loved one, it is important to intervene before it becomes too late.
Getting help for a problem gambler
Getting help for a problem gambler can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to support someone in your own situation. Although coping with gambling addiction can be overwhelming, reaching out for support can help you realize that you are not alone. One important step in helping your loved one overcome his or her problem is setting clear limits about money. It is important to remember that your first responsibility is to take care of your own well-being and to safeguard your family’s financial security.
Treatment for problem gambling may include therapy, medication, or a combination of these treatments. Behavior therapy can help the individual identify unhealthy thought patterns and replace them with more rational ones. Medications, such as antidepressants or narcotic antagonists, may also be helpful. Many people with problem gambling also have co-occurring disorders like bipolar disorder, depression, and ADHD, which can make treatment more challenging.