If your loved one is suffering from a gambling addiction, you may feel ashamed and helpless. Reaching out to loved ones who are struggling with the same problem can help you realize that you’re not alone. You can also set boundaries about money management to hold the gambler accountable and prevent a relapse. Ultimately, your family’s financial wellbeing should be the first priority. Gambling addiction is a mental disorder, similar to substance abuse. The good news is that you can help your loved one get help.
Problem gambling is a mental disorder
Treatment for problem gambling is multifaceted and can include a combination of counseling, step-based programs, self-help, peer support, and medication. While there are no drugs specifically approved to treat the condition, they can provide relief from associated symptoms. Unfortunately, no treatment has yet been proven to be completely effective for pathological gambling. Here are some possible treatment options. Some may not be suitable for you, but will benefit those around you.
First, problem gambling is often accompanied by other symptoms such as bipolar disorder, unmanaged ADHD, and problematic shopping. Research has also revealed that there is a connection between gambling addiction and alcohol problems. Problem gamblers come from every socioeconomic background. Men are seven times more likely than women to have a gambling problem, and many are connected to sports. Self-exclusion is an option for patients prescribed certain medications.
It is similar to substance abuse
Many people wonder if gambling is similar to substance abuse. The truth is, there are some similarities. Gambling releases huge amounts of dopamine into the brain, which the brain associates with pleasure. Like cocaine and other substances that trigger dopamine release, gambling releases the same high in the body. In addition, problem gamblers lie to their family members about their gambling habits and risk more money to keep winning. The biggest difference between substance abuse and gambling addiction is that these two types of addiction have similar mechanisms.
Although it’s not as easy to make the connection between gambling and substance abuse, a number of studies suggest that it is. While gambling is not considered an addiction in the DSM-IV, it’s common for individuals to think of it that way. The DSM-IV classifies substance-related disorders, including alcohol, amphetamines, and caffeine. Pathological gambling, however, is a gambling disorder that has similar characteristics to substance abuse.
It can destroy lives
A recent House of Lords report suggests that a third of the population in the UK is a problem gambler, with over 55,000 of these being children. An open letter to the government urged the government to introduce a statutory levy on betting companies to help curb the problem. Polling results also showed that people with gambling problems are more likely to develop mental health, alcohol, and drug problems. In addition to destroying lives, gambling can cause problems in relationships, employment, and financial security.
It can be treated
If you’re having trouble controlling your impulses, you may be wondering how you can treat gambling addiction. Many of the same treatment methods used for addiction to alcohol and drugs can help treat gambling. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, involves tackling underlying emotional issues and helping you manage your behaviors. Self-help books and support groups are also useful for dealing with your addiction. These resources can help you get back on the right track and become a better person.
A pathologic gambler can seek help from their family doctor. The next step in the process is to admit to their family and friends that they have a gambling problem. If they feel they can’t stop, they can join a self-help group such as Gamblers Anonymous (GA) or Gam-Anon, a support group for problem gamblers. The best way to treat gambling addiction is to complete a treatment program.