Problem gambling can be a destructive and debilitating problem that can be treated with cognitive behavioural therapy. There are many psychological benefits to this treatment, including improved self-esteem and reduced anxiety. In severe cases, problem gambling can even lead to suicidal thoughts. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a proven treatment method for this condition. This approach teaches patients how to change their thought processes and eliminate the urge to gamble. The process is usually a short-term one, but long-term effects can last for decades.
Problem gambling is an addictive disorder
Treatment for problem gambling involves a variety of options, including counseling, step-based programs, self-help, and peer support. While no one treatment is more effective than another, research suggests that certain medications can help patients manage their condition. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve any drugs to treat pathological gambling. While it may seem like an unlikely candidate, therapy for problem gambling has been effective in some studies.
Symptoms of problem gambling can vary considerably from person to person. Although it is largely invisible, it can manifest itself through various behavioral changes. Often, problem gamblers are preoccupied with gambling and may relive previous experiences or plan for the future. These people may also increase their risk taking and lie to hide the fact that they have a gambling problem. Some will even commit crimes in order to gain more money for gambling.
It affects well-being
The impacts of gambling are often discussed in terms of negative, positive and societal effects. The impacts of gambling have varying levels of complexity and range from direct negative health impacts to indirect positive health effects through the increased community economy. In addition to its negative effects, gambling is associated with many social benefits, such as improved community health, social cohesion and a stronger economy. However, the impacts of gambling are often difficult to quantify and understand.
Although gambling has positive impacts on public services and revenues, few studies have focused on its positive effects on the lives of the people who gamble. The negative impacts of gambling are quantified using disability weights and health-related quality of life weights, which measure the burden of a person’s health state on their quality of life. Researchers have used these disability weights to understand the health impacts of gambling on the community and social network of people with a gambling problem.
It can be treated with cognitive behavioural therapy
CBT can help treat gambling problems and the disorder itself, but it’s not for everyone. Some people suffer from a combination of factors, including social pressure and acculturation, which increase the risk of developing gambling problems. Gambling can cause a variety of harms, including financial losses and negative impacts on relationships. One typical ‘problem gambler’ will also affect at least four to six other people.
One of the challenges of therapy for gambling is the difficulty in identifying individual erroneous beliefs. This is because not all gamblers have the same cognitive distortions, and therapists have no way of knowing what clients are thinking when they perform therapeutic exercises. During these sessions, a therapist will attempt to uncover each distortion separately. In this way, the treatment is effective for gambling, as well as for other disorders.
It can lead to suicidal thoughts
Recent research has shown that problem gamblers are more likely to have suicidal thoughts than people without problems with gambling. The report by GambleAware, the leading charity for people affected by gambling, outlines the relationship between problem gambling and suicidal thoughts. This research highlights that problem gamblers are six times as likely to experience suicidal thoughts as non-gamblers, and the elevated risk remains after adjusting for other factors. Problem gambling often results in financial problems and depression, so even when these factors are removed, the risk remains elevated.
Problem gambling and emotional symptoms are known to increase the risk of suicide in women. According to Ronzitti et al., a study conducted in 2006 found that women who reported problem gambling were more likely to attempt suicide than men who had no problem with gambling. However, this research does not prove that gambling causes suicidal thoughts. The research also suggests that gambling can cause depression and other comorbid disorders.