Gambling can certainly become a problematic, destructive behavior. Compulsive gambling is often called “problem gambling.” Typically, it’s a progressive addiction. It has many negative psychological, physical, and social repercussions. Problem gamblers are plagued by stress, migraines, anxiety, and, most of all, depression.
Gambling addiction is no joke. In fact, it’s such a serious condition that many countries don’t even allow their citizens to gamble. Wherever gambling is legal, problem gamblers exist—in great numbers.
Case-in-point: the USA. Just walk into any casino and you’ll get a sense of how alluring these spots must feel to people who are naturally impulsive and excitable. A lot of psychology goes into those casinos. The buttons, the lights, the sounds, and the atmosphere are all developed with one single purpose in mind: keep people coming back; keep them believing that they’ll win it big, eventually.
For millions of people, casinos, not drugs, are the ultimate escape. Some people find them relaxing; others get a rush. Casinos also provide alcohol, which for many, adds a whole second layer of patterned addiction.
The signs and symptoms of problem gambling are similar to those for most other addictions: cravings, impulses, and feelings of remorse after the fact. Problem gamblers feel the need to bet more money, more frequently to make up for what they’ve lost. In spite of escalating losses, they can’t bare the truth—that there’s no quick way to get out of the hole.
Gambling addiction can be a particularly difficult addiction to tackle for a few reasons. It’s hard to detect—at least until the situation becomes disastrous. Unlike alcoholics or heroin addicts, problem gamblers show no obvious physical symptoms.
The behavior might indicate a problem, but until his or her family realize so much money is gone, the gambler will likely conceal the problem by lying, minimizing, or manipulating—just like alcoholics tend to do.
Many times, problem-gamblers are fathers. In this culture, fathers are expected to provide and to be the responsible hand in any and all matters. Knowing that they’ve gambled away their retirement money, their children’s college funds, or other important financial assets—it can be too much to bear.
There are lots of screening tools available for evaluating the extent of the gambling problem, and that’s because gambling addiction is on the rise. Lawmakers realize that, for the good of the economic state of the country, they have to recognize it, they have to handle it. Policies and programs are being improved each and every day, with the help of improved research. A detailed assessment for a gambling problem will certainly provide adequate room for treatment planning.
Hired Power offers many different forms of behavioral therapy to take care of a gambling problem. Call today: 800-910-9299
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