People who are addicted to gambling have a craving for the activity. Rather than being content with a loss, they continue to gamble, hoping to achieve the same high. It’s a vicious cycle, as increased craving causes the person to gamble more, resulting in a decrease in their ability to control their urges. Gambling addiction has a significant psychological, social, and professional impact on those affected. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this addiction.
Problem gamblers are more likely to be men
Problem gambling is more common among men than women, but why is this? Recent research shows that men are seven and a half times more likely to become problem gamblers. The reasons are varied, but one common factor is lad culture. Football is a staple of pub entertainment and adverts trigger the urge to bet. Matt, who is now 22, has lost up to PS30,000 in gambling since he started at age 18.
A large study of problem gamblers in the United States found that women suffered greater psychological distress than men did. Additionally, they reported higher levels of over-indebtedness and higher scores on screening items related to financial consequences. While men were more likely to report drug and alcohol abuse, women had fewer problems with these substances. In addition, women were more likely to report symptoms of anxiety or mood disorders than men did.
Problem gamblers often blame others
Despite their skills at rationalizing their behavior, many problem gamblers place the blame for their gambling on other people. They blame their significant other for the money problems they cause, or they blame their partner for the lack of trust. This is not unusual. In some cases, problem gamblers will even blame the partner’s sexuality for their problem gambling. But the root cause of problem gambling is often not obvious.
Many problem gamblers will blame others for their gambling problems, but the reality is that it’s difficult to change someone’s behavior unless they’re aware of it. Until a crisis happens, the problem gambler may not want to acknowledge or change their behavior. But when the time comes, it’s vital to let your loved one know that you are concerned about their gambling habits. Ask yourself: Is it impacting your relationships? If yes, then how can you help?
While many people who have a gambling problem opt for outpatient rehab, day treatment sessions are another option. These sessions typically last a full or half day. However, they are particularly valuable for individuals who require ongoing support. Outpatient therapy includes weekly one-to-one sessions, online therapy, or learning strategies to manage one’s gambling habits. An assessment by a psychiatrist may also be required if an individual has a gambling problem and is diagnosed with a mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
If you suspect that you may have a gambling problem, it’s important to get help early. First, discuss your problem with your primary care physician or a mental health professional. Your doctor may ask about your gambling history and your family’s involvement. This information is confidential, and he or she will not discuss it with anyone without your permission. Physical exams can also help identify health problems that may be associated with compulsive gambling.