If you have a problem with gambling, you might be wondering what you can do to get rid of the habit. First, you must realize that quitting gambling is no easy task. Although it can be accomplished with a support group or a treatment program, it is still extremely difficult if you do not have professional help. Although a support group and a treatment program are invaluable for a full recovery, your family and friends may not be sure how to help you stop gambling.
Problem gambling is a condition in which one becomes obsessed with the idea of gambling, despite the risks. The urge to gamble becomes too great to control and begins to affect all aspects of one’s life. The main signs of this condition are preoccupation with gambling and loss of control over one’s behavior. The gambler may hide evidence of his or her behavior, skip out on family events, or ignore his or her friends. It can progress to catastrophic levels, disrupting relationships and negatively impacting one’s health.
Various treatment options exist for problem gamblers, including counseling, step-based programs, self-help and peer-support. Moreover, some treatments have been shown to be effective. While no single treatment is deemed more effective than another, some treatments can be combined. However, as of yet, no medication has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for pathological gambling. It is essential to remember that the problem gambling treatment that is most suitable for each individual will depend on their individual circumstances.
Signs of a problem
Gambling addiction can be hard to detect in its early stages. While it may not have the overt signs of a drug addiction, there are behavioral and emotional changes that are indicative of a gambling problem. A person with a gambling problem may be secretive about their spending, irritable, restless, depressed, or anxious. They may also withdraw from friends or family, become less efficient or reliable, and express guilt.
You may have a gambling problem if your loved one tells you about it. Often, these people will express guilt after a gambling session. If you are concerned, you should talk to your loved one to find out if they are experiencing similar feelings and seek professional help. In addition, you can seek help from a professional therapist. Some treatment centers offer free initial assessments with licensed and experienced therapists.
Treatment options for gambling addiction vary widely depending on the severity of the problem. Individuals who suffer from a gambling addiction should consult with a mental health expert to determine which type of treatment would be most effective. Some treatments are focused on the gambling disorder itself while others are aimed at treating the underlying substance abuse problem. Inpatient rehab programs are geared towards people with severe gambling addictions. Others seek out self-help groups. No matter what type of treatment you choose, there are options available for you.
Some treatments involve activities that limit the individual’s gambling activity, such as socializing. Others involve psychotherapy. Although the incidence of problem gambling is extremely low, new research suggests that gambling addictions can be treated with medication. Some SSRI medications, such as nalmefene, have shown promising results in clinical trials. In addition to medication, psychotherapy and metacognitive training can help patients overcome compulsive gambling.