How to Overcome an Addiction to Gambling


Gambling can be a self-soothing behavior, a way to escape unpleasant feelings and to socialize. While gambling is an acceptable and social activity, it may not be appropriate for all circumstances. Other ways to alleviate boredom and anxiety include exercising, socializing with non-gambling friends, or practicing relaxation techniques. Getting help for an addiction to gambling should be your first step toward overcoming your problem. You might also consider counseling or therapy to help you overcome your addiction to gambling.

Pathological gambling

There are numerous theories of pathological gambling. Theories have ranged from psychoanalytic to cognitive and neurotransmitter-based. No single model, however, has been found to fully explain pathological gambling. The best approach, therefore, is an eclectic mix of several theories. In this chapter, we review current research findings and discuss potential directions for future research. The next section discusses the aetiology of pathological gambling.

The risk factors for pathological gambling include developmental stress, substance use, age, and gender. Young people with an externalizing temperament have greater risk of developing addiction in their early years. Gamblers tend to be males. The symptoms of pathological gambling must be persistent for a significant amount of time before a diagnosis can be made. Mental health professionals use a variety of screening tools, psychological assessments, and history to determine if someone is prone to the condition.

Addiction to gambling

The first step in addressing addiction to gambling is to recognize the signs of the problem. You may find yourself denying that there is a problem. If you suspect that you are suffering from a gambling addiction, talk to a counselor or seek professional help. If the problem has worsened and you have already tried other solutions, talk to a professional. You may even be able to help your loved one recover from gambling addiction.

A treatment plan will focus on how to better manage impulses and emotions. It will also include strategies for building inner resources and relapse prevention. Gamblers often struggle to cut down on gambling because they are restless or irritable when trying to stop. The treatment should include family counseling, as well. The goal of addiction treatment is to restore the person’s quality of life. The goal is to get the person to a place where they are more motivated to stay clean.

Symptoms of pathological gambling

Symptoms of pathological gambling vary, but most patients exhibit the same signs. Typically, pathological gamblers are in their mid-thirties to early forties. The gambler may have played games for social purposes for decades, but the problem began to develop once major life stressors were removed. The symptoms of pathological gambling can last for years and even decades, depending on the extent of the disease.

While many people with gambling problems do not seek treatment, pathological gamblers do display certain symptoms that may indicate an addiction to the behavior. The main symptoms of pathological gambling include a preoccupation with gambling activity and impairment of social functioning. Pathological gamblers often have trouble controlling their behavior and increase their bets to make up for losses. They may even engage in dishonest behavior to acquire money. And they can often be prone to lying and engaging in other unethical behaviors.

Treatment options

There are many different types of treatment options for gambling addiction. While these methods may be uncomfortable to some, they can be beneficial to individuals suffering from this problem. By addressing the root causes of the problem, treatment can help individuals regain control of their lives, repair their relationships, and restore their finances. The most popular form of treatment for gambling addiction is CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of therapy helps people replace their negative beliefs and behaviors with healthy ones. Family therapy is another treatment option.

Cognitive behavioral therapy involves identifying and correcting harmful thoughts and behaviors. It focuses on the interconnection of cognitions, emotions, and behavior, addressing the causes of gambling addiction and relapse. The CBT approach is usually conducted over a course of eight sessions, and includes techniques such as recognizing cognitive biases, identifying triggers, and building interpersonal conflict skills. Using this approach, people with gambling addiction can learn how to live a healthy life without seeking highs and lows.

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