Treatments For Gambling Addictions
Gambling involves risking something of value, such as money or items of sentimental importance, for the chance to win a prize. It can occur in a variety of settings, including casinos, racetracks, video lottery terminals, and on the Internet. People may gamble for entertainment, to increase a bankroll, or even as a form of therapy. In some cases, gambling can become a serious problem that negatively impacts relationships and work life. Fortunately, there are treatments available for those who struggle with this addiction.
Research shows that the most effective treatment for pathological gambling (PG) is cognitive-behavioral therapy. During this type of therapy, a person learns to recognize and challenge irrational beliefs that contribute to their gambling behavior. They also practice replacing those thoughts with healthier ones. Moreover, they learn to monitor their progress and to stop when they reach predetermined spending or time limits. Until recently, psychiatry has viewed pathological gambling as a type of impulse control disorder along with other conditions such as kleptomania and pyromania. But in the latest edition of its diagnostic manual, the APA moved it into the category of addictions, acknowledging that the condition shares many features with other compulsive disorders.
It can be difficult to recognise that a loved one has a gambling problem, especially when they start hiding their gambling activities. However, if the gambling is causing financial difficulties, it is important to seek help. A therapist can teach them how to manage their money and prevent relapses. They can also help them with any underlying mood problems, such as depression or stress, which could be making the problem worse.
While a person can develop an addiction to gambling at any age, it often starts in adolescence or young adulthood and becomes problematic several years later. PG is more common among men than women, and men tend to have a greater problem with strategic or face-to-face forms of gambling, such as blackjack or poker.
Another factor contributing to the rise in gambling-related addictions is that people are now able to access gambling from their homes. With online betting, mobile applications and a growing number of legalized casinos in the US, it is now easier than ever to gamble. But while this increased accessibility makes gambling more socially acceptable, it can also make it more addictive.
Hill added that it’s becoming more difficult to spot gambling addictions because the stigma that once existed is no longer present. This, combined with the fact that people are constantly on their phones and are distracted by other things while they gamble, is why it can be hard to see a gambling problem. She said that it is only when they begin taking out loans they won’t be able to pay back or when they are repeatedly dipping into accounts they shouldn’t be using that they become apparent to others.