Gambling addiction is a condition that causes an individual to constantly seek the thrill of winning. A person addicted to gambling has an insatiable desire to win, and it requires them to bet more than usual in order to experience the same “high”. This is a vicious cycle, since increased craving leads to diminished control of the urge to gamble. The effects of gambling addiction are not only physical, but also psychological and social. A person suffering from this disorder may not realize it, but the problem affects many aspects of their lives.
The term problem gambling has been used for centuries to describe compulsive and pathological gambling. A survey of 222 compulsive gamblers, 104 social gamblers, and substance-abusing individuals led to the first formal definitions of problem gambling. The criteria for problem gambling have since been refined. They have evolved from the early DSM criteria to a more objective and evaluative process. For example, the items “feeling guilty about gambling,” “committing illegal acts to support the gambling habit,” “concerning the family over a problem,” and “family breakups” are not weighted for severity.
While the National Council on Problem Gambling is not affiliated with any particular sport, it does provide funding and resources for a help line that assists people struggling with problem gambling. In fact, the help line is one of the best tools available for those seeking help. Not only can it help individuals overcome the negative consequences of gambling, it can also be an effective tool in the fight against gambling addiction. Its free help line is available in a variety of forms.
Early research on pathological gambling focuses on the use of aversion therapy, although aversion therapy is no longer a standard form of treatment. Barker and Miller were the first to use electrical aversion therapy in treating problem gamblers. Similarly, Seager found that five out of fourteen patients had become abstinent after undergoing aversion therapy. A similar finding was reported by Koller (1972) who found that eight of twelve gamblers showed significant improvement after undergoing aversion therapy.
The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria include: preoccupation with gambling, tolerance, chasing losses, and a history of negative affect on social, occupational, and interpersonal functioning. Further, features of addiction such as craving, withdrawal symptoms, and self-destructive tendencies are often present. These diagnostic criteria form the basis of a standardized assessment process. Ultimately, a person suffering from pathological gambling should seek treatment as early as possible to reduce the risk of negative consequences.
Signs of problem gambling
There are many signs of problem gambling. These include unexplained absences, argumentative behavior, lying to friends and family, and borrowing money to gamble. Problem gamblers may even start stealing from their families. While it’s unlikely that a gambler will intentionally rob others, there are signs that point to a serious problem. Problem gambling can lead to serious consequences and may lead to financial ruin. In addition to the physical and emotional effects, problem gambling can also affect relationships and career.
The most common and disturbing sign of problem gambling is committing criminal acts in order to satisfy their desire to gamble. This can include robbery or even murdering someone to get the money. The most disturbing signs, however, may not be immediately apparent. People who engage in illegal gambling activities often feel utter hopelessness and depressed. Fortunately, there are several ways to recognize problem gambling and get the help you need. Here are some of the more common signs.
Treatment options for gambling depend on the type of compulsive behavior that is present. Gamblers often lie about their activities and spend money to meet their gambling addiction. Their relationships with family and friends suffer and their status at work and school can be affected. They may also ignore obligations, lie about how much money they have saved, or neglect important tasks. While there is no single treatment for compulsive gambling, the following steps may help.
Self-help interventions are often accompanied by a planned intervention from the treatment provider. Information workbooks and guided activities are examples of self-help interventions. Motivational interviewing and motivational enhancement techniques may also be used in conjunction with self-help materials. Studies have shown that self-help participants achieve greater abstinence than those on a wait list. However, a few interventions may be more effective than others. The treatment option that is most suitable for a gambler will depend on the patient’s individual needs.