Gambling is fun and enjoyable when done with the right attitude, but it is dangerous and even addictive when the activity becomes a problem. Problem gambling is sometimes referred to as a hidden addiction because it usually does not manifest itself with outward physical symptoms. Here are some warning signs of problem gambling and some treatment options. These are based on scientific research and should help you make an informed decision about whether gambling is a problem. You should always seek help for gambling problems from a professional.
The National Council on Problem Gambling states that 2.2% of U.S. adults suffer from pathological gambling. While these numbers are not precise, they are indicative of individuals who regularly gamble. In Connecticut, three problem gambling counselors work with the nearly 58,000 problem gamblers in the state. And up to 1,000 others are directly affected by the addictions of these people. So it is important for anyone who may be in the path of an addicted person to seek help for their problem gambling.
Gambling is a problem when it becomes so serious that it affects one’s relationships and health. It can also cause people to become indebted. Those affected by problem gambling should seek help from mental health professionals. GamCare’s website contains resources and a self-assessment tool for people with gambling problems. Medications for restless leg syndrome and Parkinson’s disease may also lead to problem gambling. People with problem gambling may also experience the effects of depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.
Signs of a problem
If you suspect someone of having a gambling problem, it’s crucial to know how to spot the signs. Some people hide their gambling habits and are very difficult to identify. Those who are dealing with an addiction to gambling often lie and manipulate others. You may even start to accuse them of lying when you ask about their gambling habits. These behaviors are all signs that someone is having a gambling problem. If you notice these behaviors in your loved one, seek professional help immediately.
If you have noticed that someone is spending most of their time gambling, it may be time to seek help. These people usually spend most of their time gambling, leaving very little time for family or friends. They also lose interest in hobbies and activities they once enjoyed. Another sign of gambling addiction is serious financial problems, such as borrowing money for living expenses and making excuses to not pay back loans. Then, you may notice that they frequently forget to pay their bills, which can cause problems with utilities and other services.
There are many types of treatment options for gambling addiction, from traditional therapy to distance and online options. Whether the person is addicted to online casinos or to real-world casino games, treatment is available to help them regain control of their behavior and heal their finances and relationships. CBT is a common type of therapy used to treat gambling addiction. It involves replacing unhealthy beliefs with healthier ones. Family therapy is another option for gambling addicts. The goal of any treatment is to help the person understand the connection between their behavior and their relationships with others.
In addition to outpatient and residential treatment options, many rehab facilities offer a variety of customized solutions to suit the person’s needs and availability. For example, some rehabs offer weekend treatment to help those with a demanding job schedule attend therapy. Other outpatient programs include group treatments, such as Gamblers Anonymous, as well as individual therapy. A combination of these methods is often the best approach for an individual with a gambling addiction.