If you are addicted to gambling and cannot control yourself, you might have a gambling problem. These problems can severely impact your life and are often accompanied by severe financial loss. Seeking help from a qualified gambling counsellor is a good idea to deal with these issues. Counsellors are free, confidential, and available to help you. Fortunately, these services are available 24/7. Read on to learn more. Here are the symptoms of compulsive gambling and the most effective methods of treatment.
Problems with compulsive gambling
Although compulsive gambling disorder is relatively rare among adults, about 1 percent of people have serious symptoms. Adolescence is a critical time for a person’s development, with biological and emotional changes that can make it more difficult to control behavior. Some young people gamble to gain peer approval, hide insecurities, or simply to deal with stressful situations. Young people don’t know healthy coping mechanisms yet, and gambling may be one of the only ways to alleviate difficult feelings.
Compulsive gambling is an addictive behavior. It can lead to significant financial and emotional problems. Gamblers can deplete their savings and hide their behaviors to avoid attracting the attention of those around them. They may even resort to crime to fund their addiction. While treatment for compulsive gambling is often difficult, a number of individuals have found lasting relief. These professionals offer an opportunity to learn about the disorder and how to live a normal life without it.
If you’re a person with problem gambling, you might want to talk to your doctor about medications. While there are no specific medications for gambling addiction, certain drugs have shown promise in reducing the symptoms of this behavior. Antidepressants and mood stabilizers may help to decrease excitement and the desire to gamble. Narcotic antagonists, which are also used to treat substance abuse, may also be effective in treating gambling symptoms. These drugs work by changing distorted thoughts and beliefs about gambling.
A person with a gambling disorder may also have other problems that go beyond financial ruin. Symptoms of depression include lethargy, change of appetite, and unhappiness. Treatment for gambling addiction should address both issues. Some people with gambling problems are prone to lying to family and friends about their gambling. They may even resort to criminal behavior. If these problems go untreated, the person may suffer from self-harm or even suicidal thoughts.
While treatment for gambling addiction often involves lifestyle changes and medication, there are several different types of therapy for the condition. Some people suffer from problem gambling as a symptom of other psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, for instance, focuses on changing unhealthy thoughts and behaviors associated with gambling. These therapies may also include the use of mood stabilizers to reduce the urge to gamble.
If you feel alone in your struggle, joining a peer support group like Gamblers Anonymous can be a great help. This 12-step recovery program is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and offers peer support from those with similar problems. Other participants will listen sympathetically to your story and offer you advice and motivation to get back on the right track. The group culture of the group can also play a huge role in the recovery process.