When you are addicted to gambling, you are often unable to resist the urge to gamble. You become obsessed with the “high” that comes from winning, and you gamble more in an attempt to get it again. This can create a vicious cycle, whereby you chase your losses and subsequently have a harder time resisting the urge to gamble. The effects of gambling addiction are many and varied and can impact a person’s social, physical, and professional life.
Young problem gamblers are often less engaged in school or social activities and have higher levels of depression and anxiety. These characteristics may contribute to their problem gambling, but they are not necessarily indicative of a more severe disorder. Gambling in adolescents is associated with a range of negative effects, including truancy or theft to pay for machines. These individuals may also show aggressive behavior and conflict with their parents. Problem gambling in adolescents can lead to social withdrawal effects, mood modification, conflict, and relapse.
Treatment for problem gambling often involves counseling, step-based programs, self-help, peer-support groups, and medications. Despite these factors, there is no single treatment for problem gambling that has proven to be the most effective. Unfortunately, no medication has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating pathological gambling. However, it can be very helpful to get help from a licensed counselor. If you’re suffering from problem gambling, call the help line immediately.
In addition to gambling, a person suffering from pathological disorder may also suffer from other mental conditions. The DSM-IV describes 10 criteria, five of which must be met for a diagnosis. A person with pathological gambling may exhibit symptoms of schizophrenia, a general term for a number of mental disorders. Symptoms of schizophrenia include hearing voices, hallucinations, and a belief that thoughts are uncontrollable. People with pathological gambling may also display symptoms of schizoaffective disorder, which shares characteristics of schizophrenia and manic-depressive disorder.
The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling include tolerance to the effects of gambling and inability to control one’s impulses. The DSM-IV also requires that these gambling behaviors negatively impact the person’s social, occupational, and interpersonal functioning. Various diagnostic criteria, including features of craving and withdrawal symptoms, can be used to confirm a diagnosis of pathological gambling. These tools are useful in screening patients for potential pathological gambling and monitoring their response to treatment.
Signs of compulsive gambling
Compulsion for gambling can be a dangerous addiction. A person who has a gambling problem might not realize it at first, but it can turn into a crutch. Often, the urge to gamble is so strong that it can make you feel happy, sad, or stressed. You may find yourself avoiding work, family, or social events to indulge in gambling. Then, you may notice an increase in your gambling spending.
Problem gambling can affect all aspects of your life. Because problem gamblers are preoccupied with the addiction, they find it difficult to focus on anything else. At work, they are likely to be ineffective, often arrive late, use sick days, and make excuses for not showing up. Their reduced efficiency and concentration can lead to job loss. If you notice these signs, it may be time to seek professional help. In addition to seeking treatment, you may also find yourself in the position of helping someone with a gambling problem.
A person suffering from an addiction to gambling may have a number of symptoms, including suicidal thoughts and attempts. Gamblers may also experience loss of jobs or education opportunities, or even commit crime to fund their addiction. In addition to psychological and physical symptoms, gambling can affect a person’s appearance, including pale skin, dark circles under the eyes, and acne. Fortunately, treatment for gambling addiction is possible. However, it may be difficult to identify if someone is suffering from a gambling problem.
Treatment for gambling addiction differs from individual to individual. Many methods do not work well for everyone, and some of them are not medically recommended. Despite the misinformation about addiction treatments, it is always best to seek the advice of your GP or an addiction specialist before starting any type of treatment. Once you have been diagnosed with a gambling disorder, you will have several treatment options to choose from. The best options for your situation depend on your specific needs, but many options are available.