Gambling addiction, often known as compulsive gambling, is an irrepressible need to keep gambling despite the negative consequences. Gambling is defined as putting something of worth on the line in the hopes of obtaining something of even greater value. Gambling, like narcotics or alcohol, can trigger the brain’s reward system, leading to addiction. If you have a compulsive gambling problem, you may continue to chase losses in a live casino online, hide your conduct, deplete funds, acquire debt, or even turn to theft or fraud to maintain your addiction. Compulsive gambling is a terrible disorder that has the potential to destroy lives. Although treating compulsive gambling can be difficult, many people who suffer from the disorder have found relief via expert care.
The DSM-5 stipulates that a person must have shown or experienced at least four of the following during the previous 12 months to be diagnosed with gambling addiction:
- To feel excited, you must wager with increasing quantities of money
- When attempting to stop gambling, the individual may experience restlessness or anger
- Attempts to prohibit, control, or reduce gambling have repeatedly failed
- The individual makes plans to gamble and thinks about a lot
- Gambling when the individual is in a bad mood
- Returning to gambling after a financial setback
- Lying to hide gambling activity
- Gambling is causing problems in the individual’s relationships or at work
- Having to rely on others for money to gamble
Is there someone I know who has a gambling problem?
People with gambling disorders frequently hide their behaviour, but there are symptoms that someone you know has developed a problem with gambling. These may include the following:
- Money or valuables from the home are missing.
- Having many loans and borrowing money frequently
- A lot of bills that have not been paid (because of spending over their budget)
- A scarcity of food and other necessities
- Avoiding contact with relatives or at work
- Personality or mood shifts
- Unexpected absences from crucial events or commitments due to melancholy, or suicide ideation.
- Workplace performance is harmed, and more sick days are taken.
Gambling addiction self-help
- Learn to cope with negative emotions more healthily. When you’re lonely or bored, do you gamble? Or perhaps after a long day at work or a squabble with your spouse? Gambling can be used to cope with negative emotions, unwind, or socialise. However, there are healthier and more successful ways to manage your moods and relieve boredom, such as exercising, spending time with non-gambling friends, learning new hobbies, or using relaxation techniques.
- Boost the number of people who are willing to help you. It’s difficult to overcome any addiction without help, so enlist the help of friends and family. If your social circle is small, there are other options for making new acquaintances than going to casinos or gambling online. Reach out to coworkers, join a sports team or a book club, enrol in a continuing education course or volunteer for a worthy cause.
- Participate in a peer support group. For example, Gamblers Anonymous is a 12-step recovery group modelled after Alcoholics Anonymous. Finding a sponsor, a former gambler who has experience staying free of addiction and can give you crucial guidance and support, is an important aspect of the programme.
- Seek treatment for any underlying mental health issues. Gambling problems can be triggered by depression, stress, substance misuse, or anxiety, and they can also be exacerbated by compulsive gambling. These issues will persist even if gambling is no longer a part of your life, so it’s critical to treat them.