Gambling is a fun past-time, but it can turn destructive when it is conducted without a sense of responsibility or purpose. Problem gambling is often referred to as a hidden addiction, as it rarely presents any outward symptoms. The problem, however, is not always easily detected. In some cases, symptoms of problem gambling may be triggered by a certain type of event or situation. To help you determine if you are suffering from a gambling problem, here are a few tips to help you.
Problem gambling is a serious issue that can affect anyone, including employees, children, and family members. This type of problem gambling can lead to poor eating habits, strained relationships, alienation, and failure to meet obligations and promises. If you suspect that you or someone you know is affected by this type of behavior, contact the GamCare 24-hour Problem Gamblers Helpline. It is important to remember that problem gambling is not a sign of weakness or irresponsibility.
Adolescents who engage in problem gambling are more likely to have started gambling early in life, be of lower socioeconomic status, and have big wins early on in their playing careers. Their gambling habits may have negative consequences that affect their relationships, and they may even resort to stealing money to fund their machine addiction. Further, these adolescents may be prone to poor schoolwork and have trouble with parents and teachers. Problem gambling may also lead to aggressive behavior and conflict in relationships.
Various types of therapy can help people with addiction to gambling. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is one form of treatment that focuses on changing negative beliefs and behavior patterns. Individual or group therapy is also an option. Cognitive behavioral therapy is very helpful for overcoming gambling addiction because it helps individuals recognize and change the thoughts that lead to problem gambling. Motivational interviewing is another therapy that is beneficial for people with addictions to gambling.
Outpatient and residential inpatient treatment programs are available for individuals who want intensive supervision while still getting the needed support. Generally, residential programs are offered during the week and allow the person to maintain a normal schedule. Inpatient and residential treatment options include group therapies, individual therapy, and various therapeutic activities. Depending on the individual’s level of addiction and the needs of their family and friends, residential programs may also include concurrent treatment of an associated disorder.