Identifying and addressing your gambling problem is essential to finding lasting relief from the disorder. Identifying Pathological gambling, Non-gambling health issues and treatment options are the next steps for anyone who is suffering from a gambling addiction. You can start by reaching out to family and friends for support. Try to make new friends outside of the gambling world, enroll in an educational class, volunteer for a good cause, or join a peer support group. If your gambling problem is severe, you may want to consider joining a 12-step recovery program called Gamblers Anonymous. This program is patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous and has the goal of helping people break the gambling habit. In Gamblers Anonymous, members are assigned a sponsor, a former gambler who will give you guidance and support.
What is problem gambling? Problem gambling is a serious condition in which an individual places an item of value at risk in exchange for a prize or other benefit. People who are prone to this condition are classified as special populations: adolescents and aging adults, veterans, and members of the Latino and Asian communities. This is because these groups are considered to be at a greater risk for developing this disorder than other groups. These groups may benefit from additional treatment options, such as medication.
While gambling is a fun and entertaining pastime when done with a good intention, the insidious nature of problem gambling can make it dangerous. It is often referred to as a “hidden addiction,” since there are no physical symptoms or outward signs. The most difficult part of getting help for a gambling problem is actually identifying the symptoms. Many problem gamblers report feeling as if they live a secret life and cannot even smell their own breath.
There are several different types of pathological gambling. Some are associated with bipolar disorder or affective disorders. Other types are associated with anti-social behavior that is often accompanied by a lack of remorse. Bipolar disorder is a type of depression that includes both mania and depression. Many pathological gamblers also exhibit characteristics of schizophrenia. Although not as common as depression, pathological gamblers can display symptoms of schizophrenia. Pathological gamblers can also display symptoms of Schizoaffective disorder, a type of pathological gambling that contains features of both manic-depressive disorders and schizophrenia.
Treatment options for pathological gambling vary and often include a combination of psychotherapy and medication. These treatments are similar to the long-term treatment of substance use disorders. Self-help groups are also popular among pathological gamblers. However, these treatment options are not suitable for everyone. A majority of pathological gamblers have a history of psychiatric conditions and may need help in getting back on their feet. Although pathological gambling is a serious condition, it can be successfully treated.
Non-gambling health problems
Gambling has both positive and negative health effects. While it can increase stress levels, gambling can also improve health indirectly through the stronger economy of communities. However, gambling can also lead to a range of non-gambling health problems. Some of these problems include:
Some of these non-gambling health issues are common among problem gamblers. The study’s objective was to identify those patients who seek help for gambling-related problems, as well as those who have other lifestyle and mental health concerns. Those who report symptoms of both problems are more likely to seek treatment. In addition, patients with gambling-related problems are more likely to seek help for other problems, such as smoking or alcohol use.
Treatment options for gambling include inpatient rehabilitation programs, outpatient therapy, and day treatment sessions. Outpatient rehabs offer ongoing support and can also help individuals with dual diagnosis. Individuals may also opt for online therapy or weekly one-on-one sessions. Both treatments focus on learning skills to control impulsive behaviors, which is one of the causes of gambling addiction. Some individuals need assessment by a psychiatrist for gambling addiction, but these assessments are usually chargeable.
When considering treatment options for gambling addiction, it is important to consider that medications are a vital part of the overall recovery protocol. However, medication must be taken only with the approval of a physician. Self-medication is a dangerous practice and may lead to another addiction. If you think you might be suffering from an addiction to gambling, seek professional advice. Medication prescribed by a doctor will help you cope with your condition and keep you on track.