Gambling disorder, also known as gambling addiction or compulsive gambling, is a brain disorder that causes an individual to gamble repetitively and persistently. The condition is related to other addictions such as drug abuse, eating disorders, and sex addiction.
Gambling Disorder Symptoms
Compulsive gamblers often have short-term memory loss and attention deficits, which makes it difficult for them to stop their behavior. They tend to feel depressed after losing money, and they may have withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop gambling. Some gamblers become so obsessed with the game that they lose sleep and neglect their jobs or relationships.
Gambling Disorder Causes
Studies show that compulsive gamblers are more likely to be men than women, about 80 percent male. Many people who gamble compulsively also have other mental health problems such as anxiety or depression.
Treatment Options for Gambling Disorders
Psychotherapy is a treatment that focuses on improving psychological problems, such as anxiety and depression. The goal is to address the underlying causes of gambling disorder and distress, rather than treating the symptoms. Psychotherapy can also help people manage their recovery by helping them identify triggers that lead to relapse and develop skills to cope with them.
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on changing the way people think and behave in order to improve their ability to deal with problems. CBT can help individuals understand why they gamble, recognize when they are at risk of relapse, and learn coping skills for managing urges to gamble or act on those urges when they occur.
- Motivational Interviewing (MI)
MI is an approach to helping people overcome substance abuse by emphasizing motivational factors over punitive ones when discussing treatment options with them. In MI, you provide positive feedback about your client’s successes in treatment so that they will want to continue participating in counseling sessions and complete assignments at home, which will increase their motivation for making positive changes.
- Support groups
Support groups are an important part of the treatment process for people with gambling disorders because they provide a safe place to discuss issues and find out what’s going on in their lives. The support group can also help them understand their triggers and how to avoid them in the future.
The support group is also critical for helping someone who has a gambling disorder to feel more comfortable about getting help, as it can take time for people to admit that they have a problem. It’s important that you don’t attempt to diagnose yourself or others in your support group, but rather focus on getting help yourself.
Counseling isn’t just for mental health issues. It can also help with gambling disorders. A counselor can help you learn how to deal with your feelings when they get out of control so that you can have more control over them and make better decisions in the future.
A gambling disorder is a type of behavioral addiction that causes compulsive or repetitive engagement in gambling despite adverse consequences. Though gambling addiction is a serious issue, it can be treated. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of your gambling disorder.