Problem gambling affects one’s finances and relationships. The same techniques that treat addictions to alcohol, drugs, and food are used to treat gambling. Those with gambling problems tend to think differently about their betting than normal people. They might believe they have a better chance of winning or that there are certain rituals that can bring them luck. They may even believe that they can make up for their losses by gambling more. In cognitive behavioural therapy, these patterns of thinking will be examined and challenged.
Psychiatrists recognize that some people have an underlying condition of addiction to gambling. While gambling is often viewed as a harmless, social experience, it is harmful to someone’s health. The American Psychiatric Association classifies gambling disorder as an impulse-control disorder. People who are unable to control their behavior may develop physical health problems, including migraine and depression. Often, it leads to a feeling of helplessness and, in some severe cases, attempts at suicide.
Mental health professionals use standardized criteria to diagnose gambling disorders. Many mental health professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria to diagnose psychological problems. The DSM also lists Gambling Disorder alongside other addictive behaviors. The most common criteria for gambling addiction include:
If you think you might be suffering from gambling addiction, take action to stop this behavior as quickly as possible. A strong support system is essential in dealing with this problem. Reach out to your friends and family, sign up for classes, and volunteer for worthwhile causes. Finally, you should join a peer support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step program patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. There, you will be assigned a “sponsor,” a fellow gambler who can provide guidance and support.
If your loved one has an addiction to gambling, try to remain calm. It can be hard to cope with the addiction, and you may feel ashamed of the behaviour. Reach out for help from friends and family and get some support. Setting limits for money management can help the gambler remain accountable and avoid relapse. It’s important to remember that the first responsibility for managing the family’s finances is to make sure that everyone is safe. So, try to avoid giving in to temptations.
While adolescent gamblers can’t lose their home or family, they may suffer adverse effects. Problem gambling is defined as a persistent pattern of gambling that interferes with one’s relationships, schooling, and work. Generally, adolescent problem gambling involves persistent gambling that interferes with one’s relationships, work, and social life. And while early gambling isn’t necessarily the cause of a current gambling problem, it can lead to a lifetime of problems.
If you’re worried that you’re developing a gambling problem, you should seek help. Counselling services for gambling are confidential and free, and can help you address your problem and get back on track. Whether you’re a high roller or a low roller, it’s important to seek help for a gambling problem. You never know what’s lurking in your own life, and you don’t want to risk letting it ruin it for you or someone else.