A gambling test online can give you an idea of your risk levels, but it isn’t a reliable way to diagnose your problem. Only a trained clinical professional can offer a comprehensive assessment and a treatment plan based on the specifics of your case. Treatment may address various aspects of your life, including your professional and family relationships. If you suspect you might be a victim of gambling addiction, contact a health professional immediately. Your health provider can also refer you to appropriate treatment providers.
Treatment options for problem gambling range widely and often include a variety of methods, including counseling, step-based programs, self-help, peer support, and medications. Despite the variety of options available, no single treatment is the most effective, and no specific medication has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for pathological gambling. If you are experiencing the symptoms of problem gambling, the first step is to seek help.
There are many types of problem gambling, ranging from a minor urge to spend money on casino games to an overbearing gambling habit that can destroy relationships, finances, and even lead to criminal activity. It is estimated that between six and eight million people in the United States suffer from some form of problem gambling. The symptoms of problem gambling may include lying about the time spent on gambling, spending more money than is actually needed to win, and trying to make up for lost money through gambling.
Signs of problem gambling
The most obvious signs of problem gambling are not necessarily easily identifiable. The most disturbing sign, however, is the need to commit illegal acts to satisfy a gambling addiction. Such acts include stealing, robbing, or even killing people. A gambling addict may lie constantly, even when it comes to his or her own life. And despite all the warning signs, they continue to bet and lose. Then, they may try to convince you that they can control their habit.
Although most people gamble without any problem, those with problem gambling are different. Gambling disorders can alter the individual’s life in a negative way. Some signs of problem gambling include: dropping money into machines, losing money, and talking about gambling in general. The gambler may even become argumentative about it. Eventually, these behaviors can lead to serious financial problems, relationship tension, and even suicidal thoughts. The only way to stop a gambling addict from ruining their life is to get help for them.
Treatment options for gambling addictions vary, but they usually involve therapy. Many inpatient facilities offer cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on learning new ways of coping with harmful gambling thoughts and behaviors. Support groups are also common, with the same 12-step process as AA and NA. Depending on the level of severity, these options may be right for you. If these don’t work, you may want to consider an outpatient program.
Compulsive gambling can affect people of all ages, though men are more likely to suffer from the problem than women. Compared to women, men are more likely to develop the disorder in their 20s and early 30s, while middle-aged adults and older adults are less likely to suffer from it. Gambling disorders are more common among people with other mental illnesses and are more prevalent in younger people than older adults. Women are more likely to develop compulsive gambling disorders if they have family or friend influence.
Impact of problem gambling on your life
One of the most important things you can do to address the problem is to come clean about your gambling habits. Problem gamblers often hide their problem gambling from their families and friends, borrowing from the bank or stealing from a child’s money box. They may even lie about their debts, causing themselves further debt. While you may feel guilty about your behavior, revealing your problem gambling to others will give you space to make an honest recovery plan.
There are several factors that may increase your risk of problem gambling, including social and economic circumstances. In addition to gambling as a way to avoid difficult issues in your life, societal norms and culture can contribute to a gambling problem. Furthermore, chemical changes in the brain mimic those found in alcohol or other drugs. To help you overcome your gambling addiction, you can consider therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy. It involves learning new ways to think about your behavior so that you can limit your gambling behavior.