What Is a Gambling Addiction?
Gambling addiction can be very similar to other addictions such as alcohol or drugs. There are symptoms of gambling addiction, which can be recognized. Sufferers will start to lose more money quickly and may engage in extremely risky behavior. It is not uncommon for gamblers to engage in multiple types of gambling. The problem becomes severe when the gambler engages in it on a regular basis or becomes excessively involved with gambling. A gambling addict suffers from compulsive betting even when the odds are against him or her and does not realize the serious financial risks they are taking.
Gamblers need help to overcome their addiction. Gambling addiction treatment options vary among different treatment facilities. Family members are often an important part of treatment planning. It is important that addicts open up to their families about the extent of their problems and that their loved ones are understanding and supportive.
Gamblers are familiar with their particular addiction and can admit to having these urges. They recognize that their urges to gamble are stronger during specific periods of time, such as when they have a vacation or are feeling tense. Family members should try to encourage these urges by providing distraction and by ensuring the gambler has a reason to be in control of his or her life.
Professional treatment centers offer a variety of treatments for those suffering from gambling addiction. The most common is called inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment centers allow the patient to receive medical care and psychiatric therapy in private sessions. Patients in inpatient treatment centers also receive individualized one-on-one therapy and counseling. Detoxification therapy is often conducted at the same time as individualized one-on-one therapy to remove the physical and mental cues that signal the onset of an intense urge to gamble.
Psychological treatment options include individual and group counseling. The level of treatment will depend on the severity of the disorder. Those with a milder form of addiction may only require counseling and therapy, while those who gamble excessively may need to participate in inpatient treatment programs and the services of a licensed psychiatrist. While some of those who suffer from compulsive gambling disorders do not respond to standard therapies, many of those who do respond positively. These individuals should undergo cognitive behavioral therapy as part of their addiction treatment.
Some gambling addicts choose to use hypnosis to treat their addictions. This is not considered an appropriate treatment option for those with severe addictions. There is a difference between hypnosis and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), which is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is more effective means of treating addictions and is usually used in conjunction with other treatment options.
Regardless of which addiction treatment option is chosen, the primary goal of treatment is to provide the necessary skills and resources needed to overcome the disorder. Individuals who participate in addiction treatment programs have to commit to changing their behaviors in order to achieve success. It is also important for treatment facilities to be able to recognize when the individual is beginning to experience signs of relapse. Failure to take these steps can result in the relapse of the condition.
Because so many people gamble, gambling addiction is a problem that touches many people’s lives. Those who gamble need to know that there are treatment options available. With the proper resources, many people can find the help they need to overcome this problem. For those who participate in inpatient gambling addiction treatment programs, it is important for them to commit to changing their lifestyle. It can be very difficult for many people to alter their patterns, but with the help of their physicians and therapists, it can be done.