Gambling is an activity in which people wager a value on the outcome of an uncertain event. This type of activity involves risk and prize, and must be considered carefully. If you think you may be suffering from an addiction to gambling, it is best to seek treatment as soon as possible. There are several signs that you may be developing a problem with gambling.
Problem gambling in young people shares many similarities with problem gambling in adults. These similarities include higher impulsivity and an aversion to risk. Young people may be more susceptible to problem gambling for many reasons, including family influences, a desire to win money, or a combination of these factors. However, some factors are particularly relevant to the development of problem gambling in young people.
The National Council on Problem Gambling defines problem gambling as “a condition in which an individual demonstrates a progressive and irrational dependence on gambling, despite the risks and consequences.” A person suffering from this condition may also be at risk of social, legal, and family problems. Ultimately, it’s important to treat problem gambling before it causes irreparable harm. The symptoms of problem gambling can be mild or severe and get worse over time. Earlier, problem gambling was referred to as pathological gambling, but the American Psychiatric Association has now officially recognized it as an impulse control disorder.
Treatment for problem gambling can include medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. A recent study showed that some types of medication, such as SSRIparoxetine, were effective in treating pathological gambling. Lithium has also been tested as a potential treatment for pathological gambling.
Signs of a problem
The signs of a gambling problem can range from increasing irritability and feeling on edge to changes in mental health. Those with a gambling addiction may also have trouble sleeping. It’s important to know what to look for so you can intervene on time. You can begin an intervention by explaining that you’re worried about your loved one’s gambling problem.
Although many people can gamble without causing problems, problem gambling can ruin a person’s life. If you suspect a loved one may have a gambling addiction, look for the following signs. They may spend more time away from home than normal, spend more time at work than usual, or even steal from others.
Inability to stop gambling – The biggest sign of a gambling addiction is inability to stop. Even if someone tries to cut back or stop completely, the urge to gamble overtakes them. This is similar to withdrawal symptoms experienced by alcoholics. The gambler may also become irritable or restless when they don’t gamble.
The first step in treating gambling addiction involves identifying the root cause of the condition. Medications that can reduce cravings and decrease urges can help people stop compulsively gambling. These medications include antiseizure drugs, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. Some of these medications have been shown to be effective in the treatment of gambling addiction, although other types of treatment, such as psychotherapy, are also effective.
Inpatient treatment can also help people with gambling addictions. Depending on the severity of the disorder, inpatient rehab may involve several months of treatment. Inpatient programs may include supervised group therapy, a combination of individual and group counseling, structured activities, and family counseling. Inpatient treatment may also involve medication management.
One of the most difficult steps in treatment for gambling addiction involves admitting that you have a problem. While this may cause pain and strain your relationships, it is essential for you to get help. If your gambling problem is impacting your finances and depleting your savings, it is important to own up to the emotional pain that it causes you. In addition, if you have a family member who has been affected by your gambling habits, it is necessary to accept their anger and disappointment. Counseling can help you find the resources and support you need.