Compulsive Gambling Addiction
The irrepressible drive to continue gambling despite the negative effects it has on your life is known as compulsive gambling or gambling disorder. When you gamble, you're putting something you value at risk in the hopes of winning something even more valuable.
Like alcohol or drugs, gambling can cause the brain's reward system to become overstimulated, which can result in addiction. If you have a compulsive gambling issue, you can keep chasing wagers that end in losses, deplete your funds, and put you in debt. To feed your addiction, you can hide your conduct or even start stealing or engaging in fraud.
Compulsive gambling can ruin your life and the lives of those who trust you. Even though treating compulsive gambling can be difficult, many individuals who battle the disorder have found relief via professional substance abuse and mental health services.
- continually organizing activities to increase one's opportunity to win
- upping the stakes in order to have the same sensation
- attempts to limit, curtail, or stop gambling have been ineffective
- you experience agitation or restlessness when you try to limit your gambling
- gambling as a way to avoid issues or deal with powerlessness, shame, worry, or despair
- attempting to increase gambling to make up for lost funds (chasing losses)
- lying to family members or other people to conceal how much you gamble
- putting crucial relationships, a job, or prospects for study or work at risk or losing them due to gambling
- requesting help from others to get out of financial problems after losing money gambling
The majority of casual gamblers either put a limit on how much they're willing to lose or stop when they lose. However, those who have a problem with compulsive gambling feel obligated to keep gambling in order to win back their money. This behavior spirals out of control over time. To gain money for gambling, some people may resort to stealing or fraud.
Periods of remission, or times when compulsive gamblers play less or not at all, are possible for some persons. However, without counseling and psychotherapy, remission is short-lived.
When to see a doctor or mental health professional
Have your acquaintances, coworkers, or family members voiced concern about your gambling? Then pay attention to their concerns. It may be challenging to recognize that you have a problem because denial is usually always a component of obsessive or addicted behavior. Seek mental health and substance abuse treatment near me right away.
Treatment for compulsive gambling may include these approaches:
- Therapy: It could be beneficial to undergo behavioral or cognitive behavioral therapy. In behavioral therapy, you are exposed to the behavior you wish to unlearn while also learning coping mechanisms to lessen your impulse to gamble. The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to uncover unhelpful, erroneous, and harmful beliefs and to replace them with helpful, constructive ones. Family counseling in Florida may also be beneficial.
- Medications: Bipolar illness, depression, and anxiety are three conditions that frequently accompany compulsive gambling and may be treated with antidepressants and mood stabilizers. Some medicines may help to decrease compulsive gambling. Some medications that are effective in treating substance abuse may also be used to treat compulsive gambling.
- Self-help groups: Some people discover that sharing their gambling problems with others can be a beneficial aspect of treatment. Ask your medical or mental health professional for suggestions on self-help organizations like Gamblers Anonymous and other services.
Depending on your requirements and resources, treatment for compulsive gambling may comprise an outpatient program, an inpatient program, or a residential treatment program. For some people, self-help therapies including organized internet-based programs and telephone therapy with a mental health professional may be an option. Your compulsive gambling treatment plan may include therapy for substance abuse, depression, anxiety, or any other mental health condition. But there is hope.