Problem gambling can be very debilitating. Despite being a common problem among college-aged men, it is treatable with cognitive-behavioral therapy. Here are three tips for overcoming this problem:
Problem gambling is a debilitating condition
Problem gambling is a disease that affects millions of people in the United States. While it is easier to treat compulsive and substance use disorders, the disorder of gambling is more difficult to treat. It is also known as Ludomania, which translates to “a craving for gambling.”
It is a form of addiction
The APA has a new position on whether gambling is an addiction. It based its decision on recent studies that showed gambling and drug addiction share many similarities. Researchers discovered that these addictive behaviors are the result of changes in the brain’s reward system. They found that people addicted to gambling had 10 times the amounts of dopamine as those who did not engage in gambling. Because the addictive substances inhibit the production of dopamine naturally, the body needs more of them to experience the same high.
It can be treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of behavioral therapy that aims to change a person’s associations between specific stimuli and unwanted responses. One form of cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on removing cravings for gambling from the patient’s subconscious, whereas another method focuses on reducing gambling-related urges in response to actual gambling experiences. Imaginal desensitization deliberately provokes cravings for gambling through imagery. During this process, the patient receives immediate assistance for cognitive restructuring by listening to audiotapes of gambling scenarios. While behavioral therapy has been used successfully for treating gambling addiction for decades, most studies have been based on weak experimental designs, which make causal attributions difficult to discern.
It is common among college-aged men
There are several factors that explain the increased frequency of gambling among college-aged men. First, men tend to perceive gambling as an acceptable form of social interaction and risk-taking. They perceive that risk-taking demonstrates their strength of character, which may contribute to their tendency to engage in gambling. Second, men perceive gambling as a way to appear attractive and successful to women. Gambling among young adults may be a strategy to improve their perceived attractiveness to women.
It is common among older adults
Gambling is common in older adults, but why is it so common? The reasons for gambling addiction are varied. The reasons can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. Extrinsic reasons may include winning money, supplementing income, or entertainment. Intrinsic reasons may include social interaction, escape from daily problems, or grief. In many cases, gambling is a way to feel better about oneself.
It affects people from all walks of life
The problem of gambling is widespread and is not easily defined by the amount of money a person wagers, the frequency with which they gamble, or the number of times they participate in online sports betting. People from all walks of life can develop a problem with gambling, and virtually every person knows someone who has a gambling problem. The University of Memphis’ Gambling Clinic focuses on cutting-edge research and evidence-based treatment for problem gamblers.