Problem gambling is an impulse-control disorder, with a range of negative social, psychological, and physical consequences. However, treatment is available for people suffering from gambling addiction. Listed below are ways to get help for your problem gambling. A strong support system is vital to overcoming addiction. Reach out to family and friends, enrol in education classes, volunteer for causes you care about, and join a peer support group. Consider joining Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. This support group provides you with guidance and encouragement.
Problem gambling is an impulse-control disorder
Pathological gambling was once a condition considered an impulse-control disorder, but most recently was reclassified as a process addiction. Pathological gamblers find it impossible to resist the urge to gamble. The mere thought of gambling becomes intrusive and overwhelming, and the only way to relieve their distress is to indulge in gambling. This condition is not uncommon, affecting as much as 2 to 4 percent of the population.
While these disorders were previously considered a separate diagnosis, the increased impulsivity associated with gambling disorders was a characteristic of all affected individuals. Likewise, people who have a family member who has the disorder are more likely to be prone to impulses. This vulnerability may be genetic or familial. Despite the lack of clarity, however, the importance of the disorder cannot be underestimated. Fortunately, treatment for impulse-control disorders can be effective and successful.
It affects people of all ages
Research has shown that gambling affects people of all ages, including children. The prevalence of gambling-related problems among youth is approximately 10% to 15%, and 1% to 6% of these youth meet the diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling. Children of problem gamblers are at increased risk for health-harming behavior. Whether the problem gambler is responsible or irresponsible, these children are impacted by the gambler’s harmful behavior.
The current generation of youth has easier access to gambling activities than ever before. Advertising has made it look like an acceptable pastime and a way to make money. Many youth gamble with the knowledge and consent of their parents. Many parents view family poker games as harmless entertainment. These activities can also lead to a lifetime of negative consequences. In addition, gambling has negative effects on young people, including social isolation and a decline in self-esteem.
It can have negative psychological, physical, and social repercussions
Problematic gambling has both psychological and financial repercussions. The urge to gamble can become so powerful that the person becomes unable to control his or her impulses and ends up in debt or worse. In addition, gambling can lead to emotional and physical breakdown, leading to pathological gambling, also known as compulsive gambling. The stress and anxiety associated with excessive gambling may lead to physical complications.
These negative effects often manifest themselves first, with financial issues becoming the most obvious. But gambling also causes extreme emotional distress and disrupts relationships. Relationships become more strained and unstable, and it can even lead to divorce and separation. Some couples experience emotional repercussions that affect their relationships. This can make the individual difficult to lead a normal life. Gambling can also affect the health and wellbeing of partners and children.
It can be treated
There are several ways to deal with gambling addiction. The first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem. You can also join a peer support group that shares the same experiences. A more intensive form of treatment for pathological gambling involves admission into a rehabilitation program. A gambler who is committed to completing a rehabilitation program is usually required to live at the facility and attend classes. Self-help guides and support groups can also help.
Treatment approaches for pathological gambling are often similar to those for other addictions and disorders. There are a variety of approaches available to treat this condition, but most are delivered on an outpatient basis. Inpatient care is generally reserved for serious comorbid disorders, relapse, or acute crises. Many pathological gambling treatment programs focus on gambling disorders specifically, and operate as specialized tracks within substance abuse treatment centers. The literature on pathological gambling treatment includes the following guidelines.