A gambling addiction is a mental health issue that is just one of many impulse control issues and has a lot of similarities to an obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is believed that 2-3% of the world’s gambling population has a gambling addiction, meaning that there are millions all over the world. Below we will take a closer look at this ailment.
What Are the Risk Factors for a Gambling Addiction?
When thinking about why people gamble, it is very important to understand that there is no one true specific reason for pathological gambling. However, it has been observed that some people who are given medicine to treat conditions such as restless leg syndrome or Parkinson’s disease have developed compulsive behavior that cumulates in compulsive shopping, compulsive gambling, or compulsive sexual needs. Experts believe that this is because the medicine causes an increase of dopamine in the brain.
However, most gambling addiction is due to a combination of social stresses, biological vulnerabilities, as well as different ways of thinking. There are some factors that will increase the chances of someone becoming a gambling addict and these include anti-social personality disorders, schizophrenia, mood issues, and drug and alcohol problems. Those who have a lower level of serotonin in their brains are also believed to have a higher chance of developing a gambling addiction.
What Are the Signs That a Person Has a Gambling Addiction?
Below you can see the clear signs that someone has a gambling problem:
• They are always thinking about gambling. For example, they we talk about past gambling experiences, plan ahead for future gambling experiences, and think of ways that they can get more money so they can carry on with their gambling experiences.
• An unsuccessful effort to reduce or stop betting behavior
• Gambling as a means to escape problems in life and to relieve anxiety and depression
• Coming up with lies to try and hide the extent of their gambling
• Committing crimes so that they have money to fund their gambling habits
• Carrying on gambling when they have already lost a lot of money
How Do Health Specialists Diagnose a Gambling Issue?
The first step to getting treatment is to get an accurate diagnosis and this requires a psychological and physical examination of the person in question. Since there are some medical conditions out there that can lead to a person developing impulsive behavior, the doctor needs to rule this possibility out by a physical examination as well as by carrying out some tests. During an evaluation, the doctor might ask the following questions.
• What age were you when you started gambling?
• How much time do you spend thinking about placing your next bet?
• How much money do you lose when you partake in gambling?
• What things will you be willing to do to finance a gambling habit?
• Do you have gambling urges that you cannot control?
The doctor will usually also ask about drug and alcohol use and whether the person in question has ever thought about ending their own life. Also, the doctor will usually ask whether the patient has family members who mental health issues or a gambling problem.
What Treatment is There for a Gambling Addiction?
At this moment in time, there is no specific treatment for a gambling addiction. Many people with gambling addictions will go to meetings in an attempt to try and learn how to stop gambling. Some will often combine these meetings with sessions carried out a psychotherapist.
There are some medications out there that seem to decrease a person’s urge to gamble. We are not going to list them here, but if you feel like you might have a gambling issue, have a talk with your doctor and he will tell you the best medication to take.
What is the Prognosis for Those with a Gambling Addiction?
With the correct treatment, the prognosis for compulsive gamblers is pretty encouraging. More than two-thirds of those with a gambling disorder stop gambling twelve months after they have received six weeks of treatment.
After treatment has come to an end, only one-fifth of patients relapse and start gambling again a year later.
What Are the Negative Effects of a Gambling Addiction?
A gambling addiction can be devastating for the sufferer and those who have close ties to the person with the addiction. The negative financial effects that gambling can have on people include big debts, bankruptcy, and poverty to legal issues due to theft. The negative health effects include stomach ulcers, insomnia, muscle aches, and headaches.
A gambling addiction can have many negative effects on a person’s family. For example, it has been found that families that have a member that is addicted to gambling are a lot more likely to see child abuse and domestic violence. Furthermore, children that have a parent that is a problem gambler are a lot more likely to suffer from behavior problems, depression, and substance abuse.
What Are Gambling Sites Doing to Try and Decrease Gambling Addiction?
Many people think that online casino (and specially casino ns music hall of fame) owners only care about getting money and do not care about the well-being of their customers. In fact, there are many who believe that online casinos love those with gambling addictions as it means that they will get more and more money.
However, while there are those dodgy online casinos and bookmakers that are run by people who do only care for money, it is wrong to tar everyone with the same brush. There are plenty of betting sites out there that do actually care for the well-being of their customers, which can be seen by the responsible gambling features that they have in place.
All of the best betting sites out there now will have options for those who think they are developing a gambling addiction or for those who already have one. For instance, you will be able to go on their responsible gambling page and limit your deposit amounts per day, week, or month. Once you have spent the deposit limit, you will not be able to deposit any money at that USA poker and online casinos or bookmaker until the specified time period is up. Also, if you have a big problem, you can ban yourself from entering your account for a period of time. Once you click confirm, you will not be able enter the account until the time frame has finished. You can try and contact a customer support member and ask them to let you back in, but they will refuse. Now does that sound like a company that only cares about taking peoples’ money.
Furthermore, many betting sites will have customer support agents that have been trained to deal with problem gamblers. We highly recommend to read this casino guide: https://www.thecasinocitynz.com/beginners-guide/ to find out more about the threats and to be more aware. This means that if you think you have a gambling problem or a going to develop one, you can get in touch with one of the site’s customer support agents and they will advise you on the best steps to take. Once again, this does not sound like a feature that a company would have if they only cared about taking money.