Gambling is a way to release unpleasant emotions and unwind. This can be addictive. In addition to winning money, gambling can relieve boredom and increase the chance of winning. To relieve boredom and reduce the need to gamble, you should do other things to keep yourself busy. Practice relaxation techniques, get exercise, and spend time with non-gambling friends. If you are experiencing an excessive urge to gamble, it is important to seek professional help. Read on for more information.
Identifying a gambling problem
Gambling is an activity in which an individual stakes a value, such as a bet or a piece of paper, on a future event. It may involve stock investments, lottery tickets, or real estate. People who have a problem with gambling also display chemical changes in their brain, similar to those that occur when someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Listed below are some symptoms of gambling addiction. The signs and symptoms of gambling addiction may differ from person to person.
If a person has a gambling problem, the symptoms may include a growing need to gamble, a tendency to steal, or engaging in illegal activities to fund their habit. Other signs of a problem are personal problems, such as divorce, estrangement from family members, or job loss. The most disturbing effect of gambling addiction is the possibility of domestic violence. A problem gambler may also act out on social or professional obligations, spend a lot of time alone, or have an inability to handle financial obligations.
Identifying a pathological gambling problem
The primary consequences of pathological gambling are financial losses and an accumulation of debt. This condition can wipe out an entire financial portfolio in a matter of hours. Some gamblers have even lost their life savings in a single gambling session. Although the consequences of pathological gambling can be devastating to the elderly, younger gamblers are often able to stabilize their debt levels. The first step in overcoming pathological gambling is to identify and treat the person who has developed the disorder.
The symptoms of pathological gambling are varied, but they all share a number of common features. Pathological gamblers are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, peptic ulcer disease, and stress-related conditions. Pathological gamblers also have significant physical, emotional, and social problems. Their problems may even affect their employment and interpersonal relationships. These effects can be devastating, so it is critical to treat the problem early.
Treatment options for a gambling disorder
Those who are concerned about their gambling behavior may wish to consult their primary care physician and seek help from a mental health professional. While online gambling tests may be helpful, they do not replace an in-person evaluation by a trained clinical professional. A trained clinical professional will perform a comprehensive assessment of a person’s gambling habits and develop a treatment plan that addresses the specific needs of that person. Treatment will also likely address the individual’s family and financial issues, as well as their professional situation. If you are concerned that you may have a gambling disorder, your primary care physician will be able to refer you to appropriate treatment providers.
For those who cannot avoid gambling establishments, residential treatment centers are another option. These facilities offer individualized treatment with 24-hour care and therapy designed to combat the addiction. They usually hold individuals for thirty to ninety days. Many treatment centers utilize dialectical behavioral therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy to address the root causes of the problem and encourage the patient to identify and overcome underlying factors that contribute to the gambling behavior. Patients may also undergo systematic exposure to gambling behaviors as part of the treatment process.
Managing a gambling problem
Managing a gambling problem requires both love and support. Family members can offer emotional support and help the gambler realize that they are not alone. Keeping the problem private can also be difficult for the gambler. It is important to remember that problem gambling recovery is not always smooth, and underlying problems may surface once the gambler stops gambling. As family members, you must be supportive and understand that the gambling addict will bounce back.
Treatment may involve a combination of outpatient, inpatient, and residential treatment. If a person has a compulsion to gamble, they may need treatment for a mood disorder as well. Treatment may include medication or behavioral interventions. Behavioral therapies help a person learn new coping strategies. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy is designed to help a person understand their thoughts and feelings about gambling and replace them with more positive ones.