Problem gambling is a dangerous habit, but you can learn how to recognize it and treat it before it becomes a crisis. Here are three tips for responsible gambling:
The term “problem gambling” has several different meanings. Historically, it was referred to as pathological gambling or compulsive gambling. More recent diagnostic terms, such as “disordered gambling,” describe a wide spectrum of difficulties associated with problem gambling. Typically, a person suffering from problem gambling spends more time and money on gambling than on other activities, such as work or family. The symptoms of problem gambling are similar to those of other disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
A good prevention program addresses the social stigma surrounding problem gambling. A presentation on problem gambling helps people dispel common myths and provide information and support. Using an interactive, educational format, the presentation can be tailored to a variety of different audiences. Generally, the target audience is youth aged 13 to 25, but it can also be adapted to any audience. For example, the National Opinion Research Center DSM Screen for Gambling Problems is based on the DSM-IV criteria.
Signs and symptoms
If you think you might be losing control of your life, there are some warning signs that you may be experiencing a gambling addiction. If you lose control of your money, you may become a victim of self-harm, lying, and other harmful behavior. If you feel hopeless about your future, you may want to consider gambling therapy to help you stop this dangerous addiction. Some of the most common signs of gambling addiction include:
The first sign of a gambling problem is that the person does not express his or her feelings, often lying to avoid embarrassment. A gambling addict might also avoid talking about their problem, and may even get angry if questioned about it. You should also note that your loved one may be taking money from family members, selling their possessions, or racking up large debts on joint credit cards. Ultimately, you need to seek professional help if you suspect your loved one may be suffering from gambling disorder.
As with any type of addiction, treatment for gambling addiction should begin with an individual acknowledging the problem and seeking professional help. Depending on the severity of the problem, treatment may involve counseling, support groups, behavioral modifications, or medication. Family and friends of the individual suffering from the disorder should encourage the person to seek help and support during this difficult time. This may include joining a support group for gamblers or taking steps to support a loved one’s recovery.
Gambling addiction is a serious condition that can affect any area of a person’s life. Statistics show that only 2%-3% of the population qualifies for an official diagnosis. However, millions of people in the U.S. and around the world suffer from the disorder. In fact, teenagers are twice as likely as adults to suffer from gambling addiction. There are a number of treatment options for gambling addiction, and a long-term commitment is needed to ensure successful recovery.