Gambling is not just really harmless fun because it can turn problematic quickly. Compulsive behavior called ‘problem gambling,’ can quickly turn a person’s life upside down with negative repercussions on psychological, physical, and social well being. This is class as an impulse-control disorder and carries many risks to the person, family, and society at large.
Know the Signs
Some of the signs and symptoms of gambling can include the following:
- Feelings of remorse
- Resorting to theft or fraud
- In spite of losses, the persisting belief losses can be recuperated
- Borrowing sums of money from different people
- Loss of sleep
- Loss of control
- Rising obsession with gambling
- Stress related problems
A person who gambles can develop a problem as anyone is prone to becoming addicted for different reasons. No one person will develop an addiction the same way as another. If it interferes with finances, relationships, or work it is a problem. Common triggers may include:
- People with depression or anxiety
- People with existing addictions
- People on antipsychotic medications have been linked to increased risk for gambling
- Men are at a higher risk than women
- Friends and family can become addicted if others are doing it also
The Impact of Gambling
For someone with gambling addiction, it is equivalent to having a drink or taking drugs. It alters the state of mind and mood. The gambler becomes hooked and keeps repeating the behavior hoping to achieve the same effect. An increasing amount of alcohol is required for the same ‘buzz,’ and a person chases their losses thinking that engaging in more gambling will help win it all back. This vicious cycle keeps people trapped and the ability to resist going back to it drops. Some people may periodically gamble while others do it more consistently. Regardless of the rate of recurrence, the emotional and financial consequences will be obvious.
There are three main types of therapy used to assist people with gambling addiction. The three types include:
This can be behavioral or cognitive behavioral therapy. This helps reduce the urge to gamble through exposure to the behavior and cognitive behavioral therapy helps change the way a person feels and thinks about gambling.
Mood stabilizers and antidepressants can help reduce symptoms and illnesses that appear with some gambling addictions. Some antidepressants can help reduce the urge to gamble.
Some find speaking with others in similar situations to be very helpful in a supportive environment such as Gambler’s Anonymous (GA) or similar type groups.
Whatever the situation, Cypress Lakes provides a place to heal and recover. We are able to help with therapeutic support along with alternative therapies that bring you back to a place of recognizing the addiction, entering recovery and setting you up for success after treatment. Call us to find out how we can help you tackle gambling addiction head on.877-938-1577