Many mental health professionals have developed criteria for recognizing problem gambling. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a standard textbook for diagnosing psychological problems and lists gambling as a specific type of addiction. These criteria identify a gambler as “gambling problem” when they have repeatedly failed to control their gambling habits. Gamblers typically lie about their involvement in gambling to others, or rely on other people’s money to alleviate their financial problems.
A gambling addiction affects not only a person’s finances, but their personal and social life as well. When a person cannot resist the urge to gamble, he or she will continue to try and find a new way to get their “high.” The cycle continues until the gambler no longer has control of their urges to gamble. Gambling addiction is a complex problem and should not be taken lightly. For this reason, seeking treatment is essential to recovery.
The prevalence of gambling has led to an increase in screening for addictive disorders in primary care settings. While gambling is legal and widely practiced, it is important to recognize that it has a high potential for addiction. The relative value of screening for pathological gambling depends on the health risks and benefits of the activity. There are several different ways to screen for pathological gambling. One way to evaluate your gambling problem is to consult a mental health professional with a background in addiction treatment.
A decision must be made to stop gambling. Gambling requires skill and knowledge, which means avoiding temptations to indulge in risky activities. One of the most important steps is to reduce your gambling expenditures. Limit your expenses, especially when it comes to credit cards. Try to limit your online gambling accounts, and keep a limited amount of cash on you at all times. This way, you will only have a small amount of money to spend when you feel the urge to gamble.
Problem gambling is a global public health concern, which has led to legislation and preventive measures aimed at reducing the risk of gambling-related illnesses. Before considering gambling regulations or preventive measures, it is important to understand the extent of potential harm. Although research results are mixed, the conventional view of the harms of gambling is supported by the majority of the literature. These findings suggest that gambling is generally a negative influence on the health of people. The research conducted so far indicates that the public health agency needs to improve screening and treatment methods.
In addition to counseling, it is important to consider joining a peer support group. Such groups can help you identify the causes of your gambling disorder and develop a solution. While there are currently no FDA-approved medications for gambling addiction, they may treat the co-existing mental health conditions. The support of family and friends is critical to recovery. But it’s ultimately up to you to make the decision to stop your gambling. The sooner you start seeking help, the better.