If you are a gambler, you may be prone to problems such as gambling addiction. The financial and emotional consequences of gambling binges are significant. Gambling becomes a problem when a person is unable to control himself and it negatively impacts all aspects of his life. Treatment for problem gambling includes therapy, which can be cognitive behavioural or behavior therapy. The latter involves changing the way a person thinks and how they behave around gambling. For example, a cognitive behavioural therapy program focuses on changing the way people think about gambling.
Problem gambling is a mental disorder
Problem gambling is a mental disorder characterized by a persistent urge to gamble, often resulting in significant financial losses. Those with this condition have a difficult time controlling their behavior and often need to gamble increasing amounts in order to feel the same excitement as when they started gambling. These individuals are often irritable and restless when they attempt to stop gambling, and their thoughts about gambling are often intrusive. Often, these individuals have difficulty sustaining relationships and may even think about suicide when they feel the urge to gamble.
It can happen to anyone
Suicidal thoughts are a common side effect of excessive gambling. In fact, the suicide rate among people with gambling addiction is nearly 15 times higher than the national average. People with mental health problems and those who abuse drugs are especially at risk for suicide attempts. Suicidal thoughts are especially dangerous for people who have tried to commit suicide in the past or have hurt themselves. If you feel like suicide is the only way to get rid of gambling, seek help immediately. Visit your local emergency room or call 911.
It is widespread
The spread of gambling is widespread across American society, according to a recent survey. In the past year, 82 percent of adults had gambled. Previous surveys found that participation was only 61 percent (1975) and 63 percent (1998, depending on state).
It can lead to thoughts of suicide
One-third of problem gamblers have thought about suicide at some point during the past year. Problem gamblers were five times more likely than the general population to consider suicide. Even worse, problem gamblers were more likely to attempt suicide than nonproblem gamblers. While these numbers are high, they don’t necessarily mean that gambling is the culprit. Problem gamblers may simply have an overly sensitive or impulsive personality.
It can be treated
Unlike some addictions, gambling can be successfully treated. Problem gamblers often benefit from a variety of approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step programs, and professional counseling. Medications, such as naltrexone, can be prescribed to help people overcome their impulses to gamble. These treatments can help people deal with the emotional challenges that accompany gambling problems, such as the lack of control over their urges.