According to Gabbard’s Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders (5th edition), published by American Psychiatric Publishing, gambling disorder falls into a new category of behavioral addictions. Like substance-related disorders, gambling disorder is characterized by similarities in physiology, clinical expression, and brain origin. Treatment for gambling disorder may be costly, but it can be helpful in treating problematic gambling. This article will cover the signs and symptoms of gambling disorder and how to seek help.
The term problem gambling refers to repetitive patterns of gambling behavior and may be a mental illness under DSM-5. Pathological gambling is common and is associated with social and family costs and alcohol use. Pathological gambling also causes impulsivity, which is one of the hallmarks of a person with gambling problems. However, antidepressants and psychotherapy can help reduce impulsivity and lessen the negative effects of pathological gambling. In the long run, treatment for gambling addiction can help the person reduce the risk of relapsing into problem gambling.
Treatment for problem gambling consists of counseling, peer-support, and step-based programs. The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates that two percent of American adults may be susceptible to this type of problem. It has three employees who deal with the 58,000 problem gamblers in the state of Connecticut, which has a population of around one million people. Counting those who are in direct contact with a struggling addict, problem gambling services provide an effective way to help those in need.
Signs of a problem
The first sign of a gambling problem is when the person cannot control their urges to gamble. They spend more money than they can afford and begin to neglect their other obligations. They may max out their credit cards and neglect their families and work. They may even lie about it. They may try to hide their gambling habit by lying about other aspects of their life. If they are caught gambling, they may feel shame for being so in debt or depressed.
Gambling addiction is marked by an inability to control one’s impulses and to stop. Although it may seem easy to cut back or cut out entirely, a person who is addicted to gambling will find it extremely difficult to control his or her gambling. They may try to limit the amount they bet, but the urge to gamble often overwhelms them. It is akin to an alcohol addiction, where a person can begin to feel irritable or restless when he or she doesn’t gamble.
Several treatment options are available to help people with gambling problems. Often, people are pushed toward treatment by family members or friends who wish to support them. Others may feel they can control their gambling on their own and do not recognize the harm it causes. Treatment options for gambling problem include motivational approaches, which aim to address client ambivalence towards change. Motivational approaches often include normative or personalized feedback, while others seek to reframe mistaken perceptions.
The most commonly used treatment option for gambling addiction is therapy, which may be a combination of individual and group sessions. Therapy may be offered in an outpatient or residential setting and focus on challenging harmful gambling thoughts and behaviors. It may also involve support groups, such as Gamers Anonymous meetings, or individual therapy. Families and friends of people suffering from gambling problems should seek out support groups for emotional support, so that they can better resist temptation. Inpatient and residential treatment facilities offer 24-hour care. They offer therapeutic activities, as well as concurrent treatment for any associated disorders.
Cost of treatment
Gambling is a serious social problem that costs the public health system between $51 million and $243 million annually. Many studies have shown that problem gambling is effective, but there are many negative consequences. Although gambling is an enjoyable pastime, it can cause serious problems for the individuals involved, their families and the communities they live in. The negative consequences of gambling can include crime, depression, lost wages and a host of regulatory costs. Besides these direct costs, there are also indirect costs.
A residential rehab program can help individuals who are struggling with a gambling addiction. This type of treatment is typically recommended to those who have tried to quit on their own without success. The therapy will focus on the causes of compulsive gambling and teach the individual coping techniques to prevent it. The program can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year, but it is not a solution for every gambling problem. If your financial situation is causing you to gamble excessively, you may be better off with outpatient treatment.