Are you aware that you have a gambling problem? Here are some signs that you may have a problem, treatments to help you overcome your addiction, and tips to prevent it. If you are struggling with a gambling problem, seek help immediately. There are many resources available, including BetterHelp, which matches you with a licensed therapist. It is reader-supported and I may receive a commission if you make a purchase through a link.
While problem gambling is generally considered an irresponsible activity that can ruin one’s life, it is not impossible to find help for the condition. The National Gambling Helpline estimates that nine out of ten adults in the UK have been affected by problem gambling at some point in their lives. A simple lottery ticket once or twice a week is not harmful, but a regular habit could lead to problems. To understand problem gambling, you need to understand what makes it so damaging.
The research community uses the term problem gambling to describe the condition of those who have an excessive urge to gamble. The term encompasses those who do not meet the diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling, but whose gambling behavior affects other aspects of their lives, including their family life and job. The National Council on Problem Gambling describes problem gambling as a continuum of gambling difficulties ranging from occasional gambling to pathological gambling. People with problem gambling typically dedicate more time and resources to gambling than other activities.
Signs of a problem
While many people with an addiction to gambling feel hopeless and unable to live without the cash they win, it is possible to spot signs that a person may have a gambling problem. These signs can include lying, staying up too late, or stealing money. Other signs of an addiction to gambling include having pale skin, having difficulty getting adequate sleep, accusation, and weight gain or loss. In some cases, an addict may also be unable to stop gambling even after it is clearly not healthy.
Gambling addiction is a hidden illness, and the signs are often not as obvious as drug addiction. However, some common signs of a gambling addiction include irritability, mood swings, and changes in mental health. A person may experience sleep disorders, a loss of interest in other activities, and even depression. If you notice any of these symptoms in a loved one, you should take action immediately. This is because if you don’t spot a gambling problem, you could be at risk of developing a gambling addiction.
Treatment options for gambling addiction vary. An inpatient rehab program geared towards people with severe gambling addictions can be highly effective. Outpatient rehabs may not be effective for people with moderate to severe gambling problems. Treatment options for gambling addictions include therapy, 12-step programs, and support groups. Most residential rehabs use CBT therapy. Support groups are beneficial for gambling addicts because they provide support and emotional support during the recovery process. A family support system is also crucial.
Some individuals with a gambling problem resist professional treatment because it involves therapy. However, therapy can help the person regain control and heal damaged relationships and finances. There are several types of gambling therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps clients recognize and replace unhealthy beliefs that may be contributing to their behavior. Self-directed computer interventions can also be effective. Ultimately, these treatment options can help those struggling with gambling get back on track.