Recreational gamblers generally stick to a time and money budget. When they reach their limit, they stop and move on to the next activity. There are no medications specifically for gambling disorder, but some medications may be helpful in treating co-occurring conditions like depression or anxiety.
But for problem gamblers, the madness is not restricted to one month. And it could become an even bigger issue for some as Ohio lawmakers continue to consider legalizing sports betting in the state. When you hear “problem gambler” or “gambling addict,” what comes to mind?
Relapses are common, so do not beat yourself up if you do happen to give in on occasion, but know that your recovery depends on unwavering determination. Gambling addiction can be controlled by a system of checks and balances whereby you create a social circle that will help you keep yourself in check. Networking and joining groups with other people experiencing the same issues as you are, or better yet, who have recovered completely, is a good way to begin your recovery. When you are a diagnosed gambling addict, the best thing you can do is to stop gambling. To do so, you must put some distance between gambling products and yourself.
Gambling is associated with many additional effects, in both the short- and long-term. Gambling addiction frequently results in other addictions that serve as coping mechanisms for people who are stressed out by the activity. Many gamblers turn to drugs, alcohol and other activities to alleviate the anxiety brought on by the gambling lifestyle.
For many gamblers, the biggest problem is not to quit the habit but to stay on the road to recovery and prevent a relapse. There can be so many triggers that may interfere with the gambler’s will power and cause him to relapse. However, by making some healthier choices and looking for healthier alternatives can a past gambler prevent relapse.
Gambling addiction is also called compulsive gambling or pathological gambling. When contemplating why people gamble, it is important to understand that there is usually no one specific cause for pathological gambling. The theory about that connection involves the increased activity of the chemical messenger dopamine in the brain. Another example where compulsive gambling may have a single cause is in bipolar disorder since exorbitant spending, including compulsive gambling, may be a symptom of the mania that is part of bipolar disorder. Reach out for support by confiding in a trusted family member or friend.
Prevent your partner from participating in family life and activities. Encourage and support your loved one during treatment of their gambling problem, even though it may be a long process peppered with setbacks. Tell yourself that you’ll wait 5 minutes, fifteen minutes, or an hour.
Gambling addiction—also known aspathological gambling, compulsive gamblingorgambling disorder—is an impulse-control disorder. If you’re a compulsive gambler, you can’t control the impulse to gamble, even when it has negative consequences for you or your loved ones. You’ll gamble whether you’re up or down, broke or flush, and you’ll keep gambling regardless of the consequences—even when you know that the odds are against you or you can’t afford to lose. The cause of a gambling problem is the individual’s inability to control the gambling. This may be due in part to a person’s genetic tendency to develop addiction, their ability to cope with normal life stress and even their social upbringing and moral attitudes about gambling. The casino or lottery provides the opportunity for the person to gamble.
Like many problems, compulsive gambling may result from a combination of biological, genetic and environmental factors. Visualize what will happen if you give in to the urge to gamble.Think about how you’ll feel after all your money is gone and you’ve disappointed yourself and your family again. Join a peer support group.Gamblers Anonymous, for example, is a twelve-step recovery program patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. A key part of the program is finding a sponsor, a former gambler who has experience remaining free from addiction and can provide you invaluable guidance and support. Have family and friends worried about you.Denial keeps problem gambling going. Many older gamblers are reluctant to reach out to their adult children if they’ve gambled away their inheritance, but it’s never too late to make changes for the better.