Do You Know About Problem Gambling Addiction?
One of the most difficult things to grasp about gambling is that it is essentially gambling. It is, after all, an activity with potentially hazardous outcomes. So how then do we understand gambling as a practice worthy of its own philosophy? Gambling is really the wager of something of worth on some occasion with an unpredictable outcome with the intention of winning something else in return. Gambling therefore requires three essential elements for it to exist: risk, consideration, and a reward.
Gambling as an addictive behavior has both positive and negative impacts upon those who engage it. On the positive side, those who gamble show greater cognitive ability and better decision-making skills than those who don’t. In addition, gamblers show a higher degree of self-esteem and confidence, and are less likely to experience serious negative impact such as alcohol or drug abuse, or depression. On the negative side, those who gamble too much and/or excessively often can develop compulsive and/or addictive traits and behaviors such as: depression, anxiety disorders, anger, social anxiety, insomnia, bulimia, and social phobia. Negative consequences from continued gambling can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes, and even death.
How can we recognize the potential problem gambling has for those suffering from addictions? Gambling addiction is, at its core, a result of psychological addiction. Just as an alcoholic can become addicted to alcohol, someone who gambles can become addicted to financial loss, frustration, or stress. Gambling addicts experience an overwhelming feeling of anxiety or shame whenever they realize they have incurred a financial loss. This is a common component of gambling addictions.
So how do we treat a problem gambling addiction? Like any addiction, the first step is to seek treatment. Professional help can be very effective in treating addictions, whether it be to gambling or other forms of gambling behavior. Drug therapy and counseling can be very helpful as well as individual and family therapy.
Those with problem gambling addiction may also need to participate in a clinical program for their addictions. The treatment will focus on exposing the gambler to their greatest fears and minimizing the chance that they will engage in their compulsive behavior again. In some cases, gambling addicts may need to face up to their problems and decide if gambling is worth the negative consequences. If they are able to break free of their addiction, they will be able to live healthier, happier lives.
If you or someone you know suffers from problem gambling addiction, you should not hesitate to seek help. Gambling does not have to destroy your life. The best treatment available can be very effective in giving you the tools you need to live a happy, healthy, and productive life. It may take a bit of time, but your recovery is entirely possible.