Gambling Addiction: Diagnosis, Triggers & Treatment

Gambling addiction may cause a mental health problem.  After diagnosis, treatment is available/ Find out more about what problem gambling involves and how to get help

For an individual who has a gambling addiction, there are chances that the gambling behaviour keeps changing the mood and state of mind of the person.

As the player becomes accustomed to this feeling, they tend to have the same thought process or behaviour.

An individual who is addicted to gambling treats the need for gambling with the same high often. Some of the scenarios where they keep running after the lost battles, with the thought process that they will win all the money they lost.

Gambling is very much common today. Online gambling has increased accessibility and is one reason why there should be greater awareness of this. Individuals do love playing gambling, but they forget that everything comes with pros and cons.

Any individual who has the service of gambling must develop certain guidelines or rules and regulations to build up policies to address gambling addictions. These policies can help the players think that it can be bad when it turns out to be an addiction.

The research, prevention and gambling addiction diagnosis must be spread and encouraged.

Gambling Addiction Symptoms

The sign and symptoms of addiction to gambling are:

Gambling is not defined as a financial problem; but one of the problems that can have different financial consequences.

It also changes the perspective in which the person having the disorder relates to the family or friends. The person having the addiction might not interact much with their family or friends or show up at any family events.

There are no specifics addiction symptoms when it comes to gambling. Either of one behavioural change is witnessed in the person

  • prefers to be alone, lost
  • short-tempered
  • negative interaction with people

Any individual who thinks gambling addiction is getting on the negative side; they must ask, “Can I leave gambling? If the answer to this question comes as “No”, it is a sign that the individual needs help.

Gambling Addiction Diagnosis

For any individual who needs to be diagnosed with gambling addiction symptoms, the individual must have at least four out of the DSM-5 states:

  • Gambling when you feel distressed.
  • Returning of the person to gamble after losing all the money.
  • Need for gambling with a lot of money to feel happy.
  • Getting the dependent factor for the money
  • Concealing the activities of gambling by lying
  • Having the thought of gambling and creating plans
  • Anger issues or restlessness when thinking to give up on gambling
  • Family or work issues because of gambling

Gambling Addiction Triggers

There are several problems related to gambling, but gambling addiction can be a problem for any individual.

The behaviour of practising gambling turns out to be problematic when it becomes excess or uncontrollable. There are high chances that it may interfere with relationships, workplace or family.  It does not come with any notice; no individual can predict when they catch up with the addiction to gambling.

All the individuals who have this addiction to gambling can be termed as responsible and dependable individual. Still, there are a few factors that can reflect the behaviour change.

These have been listed below:

  • loneliness
  • retirement
  • the presence of other addictions
  • job-related stress
  • different environmental factors
  • traumatic circumstances
  • emotional upheaval, depression or anxiety

According to the studies, individuals who have just one addiction have high chances of developing another addiction. Different other factors such as genetic or neurological might have a role in it.

Studies also reveal that players who are affected by gambling can have various issues with alcohol or drugs.

Moreover, some addictions can also be the result of reducing the negative vibes curated by gambling addiction.

Several factors can increase the risk. These include:

  • anxiety conditions, depression or disorders
  • different other addictions such as alcohol
  • usage of certain medications

Gambling Addiction Treatment

Gambling addiction can be dangerous; the treatment can be divided into three categories:

Medications: Medical science has progressed a lot. There are mood stabilizers and antidepressants available in the market, which can reduce the various symptoms and illnesses. An individual with a gambling addiction can also take antidepressants, which can reduce the urge to gambling. For compulsive gamblers; narcotic antagonists- is one of the drugs used to treat drug addiction.

Self-help groups: Feel free to talk about this to any of the people you are comfortable with.  You can talk to the person going through the same; it can help you feel better or come up with a better solution.

Therapy: This can be addressed as cognitive behavioural therapy, also known as CBT or behaviour therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy comes into the picture when the individual is looking forward to changing the way of thinking and what he feels about gambling. A person seeking behaviour therapy will be reducing the urge to gambling. This is done through a systematic process where the individual is exposed to the behaviour.

Seek Professional Help

If a player thinks that they are getting gambling addiction triggers, there are n number of self-tests available online.

If gambling is very much serious or severe, try taking the help. It can be any treatment from professional people or reaching out to the specialist whom you could talk to freely.

The tests will not include diagnosis and offer a face-to-face test, but they can be vital for the individuals looking forward to seeking any kind of professional help.

The clinical professional will offer an in-depth detailed assessment and curate a treatment plan, depending upon the individual’s need.

Gambling addiction treatment and help might need to be assessed through the different factors of the individual. It can be any of the factors such as financial status, work-life, relationships or health. The professional keeps an account of all the factors and then speaks to the individual.

Any individual who feels that gambling is turning out to be an addiction might need help. A health provider will assist the person to the concerned person.

APA has offered a list of advice for all the individuals who think people with addiction need gambling addiction help.

  • Talk about the issue
  • Look for help through groups or clinical professionals
  • Address the good qualities in the person and try to interact with them often.
  • Recognize the need for the treatment
  • Treatment can take time
  • Discuss gambling with calmness and try your best not to get anger issues.
  • create a boundary when it comes to finance

It is not too late if you are looking for professional help of any kind. If you have this addiction or someone in your group who loves gambling, try speaking to them. Increase awareness; help them understand the difference between the urge to play and play for happiness.  Certain online professionals offer help in this domain as well.

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