If you are someone who enjoys gambling but has become a problem, this article is for you. Learn the warning signs and how to treat a gambling problem. Also, learn how to prevent a gambling problem. Gambling is a time-bound event. Unlike investing, where your capital could grow for years, gambling is likely to end in loss of money. So, the sooner you get help for a gambling addiction, the better. And, learn about treatment options and prevention techniques, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier future.
Problem gamblers are a subset of pathological gamblers. They are individuals who gamble for money despite the dangers of the activity. The prevalence of pathological gambling is based on a survey in which respondents report how much they have gambled in the past year. Percentages of pathological gamblers range from 2.7 percent in North Dakota to as high as ten percent in Mississippi. This latter study is an outlier in the distribution and is therefore not considered to be representative of the U.S. population.
As problem gamblers accumulate a high level of debt, they may attempt to access personal financial resources to fund their addiction. They may even turn to family members or friends for cash to meet their gambling needs. Some problem gamblers resort to illegal sources of income to fund their habit, which may lead to criminal charges and even incarceration. Unfortunately, these types of activities only escalate the severity of the gambler’s condition. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options for problem gamblers that can help them overcome their gambling addiction and get back on their feet.
Signs of a problem
While the addiction to gambling is a common affliction, the symptoms of this disorder aren’t always immediately obvious. Nevertheless, there are some clear signs you should look for. Gambling has a number of similarities with drug addiction, including stealing money, lying, and staying out late. Other telltale signs of gambling addiction include hiding money, accumulating debts, and begging for another chance.
Mood swings are one of the symptoms of compulsive gambling, and they are often mistaken for normal upsets. Another sign of gambling addiction is the occurrence of double lives. People who gamble excessively often hide their activities from friends and family, and this often results in denial. Despite these warning signs, it’s important to seek help. In addition to seeking help for compulsive gambling, you can also seek treatment for depression.
While inpatient therapy is not yet widely used, self-exclusion lists are an important first step in treating problem gambling. These lists, however, do not physically remove the gambler from the gambling environment. Instead, they reduce the amount of noise that surrounds the person while they are gaming. Self-help interventions include a workbook and brief telephone support from a trained counselor. These interventions have a number of benefits, but are still in their early stages.
Although no medication has been approved by the FDA to treat gambling disorders, multiple pharmaceutical approaches have shown promising results. Opioid antagonists, escitalopram, lithium, and valproate are all currently being tested. Several studies have found that these drugs reduce anxiety and problem gambling severity. However, the trials have typically been short-term and have involved small sample sizes. Treatment options for gambling may include a combination of self-help groups, medical monitoring, or a combination of treatments.
Ways to prevent a problem
Community health workers and advocates could all benefit from increased awareness about gambling troubles, such as by receiving training on how to help people who might be experiencing gambling troubles. Some people say that they would even benefit from training on how to deal with someone in such trouble. Considering that conflicts over financial losses can cause gambling problems, this training could prove to be beneficial to many healthcare workers. While some may need specialized training, most would not need to become experts in problem gambling.
People who have a problem with gambling may feel ashamed and guilty about their actions. However, these feelings can increase the stress and negative effects of the gambling problem. Moreover, problem gamblers may consider taking counselling sessions to work out their problems and the causes of their gambling habits. However, it is imperative to remember that even though the individual may have experienced a “lapse” in their control, this does not mean that they must continue to gamble. Instead, they can use the experience to learn from their mistakes and adjust their gambling habits.