How much Gambling is too much Gambling?
Most of us gamble or have gambled in our lives at some point, Haven’t we?
Whether it is in casinos, slot machines, gambling halls, with friends at some game of cards or stock markets, cryptocurrencies, and bitcoins, we all have gambled in our lives at least once.
The question that falls upon this very morally unacceptable societal activity is
How do you know that you’re gambling too much and that you might be considered a problem gambler?
Exactly, what is that point of recognition of a problem gambler?
We’ll read about it in this blog.
So, without any further ado, let’s delve into what problem gambling means, what are the 8 signs and symptoms of problem gambling, what treatments are used for problem gambling and how can you prevent problem gambling.
MEANING OF PROBLEM GAMBLING
Problem gambling is a form of gambling that is characterized by repetitive gambling behavior, even when the consequences are harmful.
Problem Gambling was concluded as a type of mental disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition which was coined by the American Psychiatric Association of the United States, but they re-classified it under the other addictive disorders.
Problem Gambling is an addictive disorder co-occurring with various other forms of addiction issues such as alcohol issues, drug abuse, and sex addiction.
Problem gamblers have one common characteristic that makes them dangerous and addicted, not just for themselves but also others, which is IMPULSIVITY.
8 SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF PROBLEM GAMBLING IN PROBLEM GAMBLERS
There are a lot of Signs and Symptoms you could register if you try to observe the patterns in the problem gamblers.
Let’s have a look at the 8 signs and symptoms of Problem Gambling in Problem Gamblers.
- Restlessness, Anxiety, and Irritability when you try to hold back from gambling can be prominent signs of problem gambling issues.
- If you are lying to family members and your close ones about your gambling and keeping that life private from everyone around, chances are you might be falling into the trap of problem gambling.
- Chasing Losses constantly in hopes to make up for the lost value and gain a lot more in that one chance to make up for all the previous losses can point to having problem gambling issues.
- Needing or feeling the need to gamble with more and more amounts of money for much more gains can be a sign of problem gambling issues.
- If you are gambling as a form of escapism, as in when you indulge in any addictive behaviors to ignore or escape the reality of the difficult situations of your life.
- When you constantly keep on trying to hold yourself back from gambling or betting, it doesn’t work.
- When you start to sabotage and destroy your relationship with your close ones for gambling.
- When you start to ask for money from other people to clear your debts and to be able to gamble again.
TREATMENT OF PROBLEM GAMBLING
To get treated for problem gambling(gambling addiction), you need to be diagnosed with gambling addiction and for that, you need to acknowledge that you have a gambling problem.
A lot of people don’t want to admit, just like any other addict, that they have a gambling issue.
So it’s very important to recognize your patterns and accept them for what they are before anything else.
Now, for getting diagnosed with gambling addiction, the symptoms of problem gambling should persist in you for at least six to twelve months. If the symptoms are there for a month or so, it can be considered a phase that would probably resolve itself in time.
There are a lot of treatment styles that are used on people suffering from problem gambling.
But the most commonly practiced treatment styles for problem gambling used by professionals are
1. Self-Help Treatments
Self-help treatment is effective in curing people of their gambling addictions. Research shows that approximately 30 percent of problem gamblers heal on their own by following certain preventative measures.
Motivational treatments/Counselling and Therapy
are also prevalent ways of treatment for problem gambling. Metacognitive Training and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are two examples of therapy-related treatments that are proven to be effective in treating problem gambling issues.
Step-Based Programs/Self Help Groups
are also a great practiced and proven method of helping people with problem gambling issues.
As much as professional help is important, peer support/Family support contributes a lot for people trying to come out of their problem gambling addiction.
SSRI Paroxetine drugs are found to be very helpful and effective in treating problem gambling and Nalmefene is also one of the drugs (normally used to help people with opioid overdose or alcohol addiction) proven to be effective in treating problem gambling issues.
- <H3>Self-Exclusion Method Of Treatment<H3>
There are certain voluntary self-exclusion gambling treatments prevalent in the USA, UK, Australia, France, Canada, South Africa, and various other countries.
These Voluntary exclusion treatments include the policies developed by the Government and/or independent casinos to help people not slip into Problem Gambling Issues.
<H2>SIX IMPERATIVE PREVENTATIVE MEASURES FOR PROBLEM GAMBLING<H2>
We all can always practice certain preventative measures to avoid falling into the vicious loop of addictive gambling/problem gambling.
There are six imperative preventative measures that we can apply while gambling to not fall in the loop of problem gambling, those include
- First and foremost, always take gambling games as a fun sporting activity.
Getting emotionally attached to gambling games will only cause one to be more vulnerable to addiction tendencies.
- Secondly, try to limit the time and money that you use for gambling.
Having a routine and being more so aware of the time and money that you’re spending every time you gamble can help you keep track of your gambling situation and as a result, help you to be more disciplined and controlled.
- Thirdly, you must always be aware of the risks and dangers of gambling addiction and be aware if you start feeling a similar pattern within yourself or someone around you.
- Also, maintain a healthy balance between gambling activity and other fun activities. Being too engrossed in gambling activity for long can make you prone to developing problem gambling issues. Finding other healthy fun activities instead of gambling often can help you keep your obsessive gambling tendencies or the chances of developing obsessive gambling tendencies at bay.
- The fourth and most important preventative measure is to never borrow money from others for gambling. If you don’t have money and you keep on gambling, you’ll fall into financial debt as well as mental issues and pressures.
- The fifth preventative measure is to realize that gambling at the end of the day is about chance. So, you have a 50-50 probability of winning and losing.
Now you know a bit more about the term Problem gambling, its signs and symptoms, treatment forms, and preventative measures.
In conclusion, I would like to leave you with the thought that if you are dealing with problem gambling or someone in your vicinity is, just try to be hopeful and know that there is a life beyond all this.
Your meaningful connections with people, work life, family life, and other healthy fun activities, would always weigh more than the problem gambling issue.
Don’t lose hope and be strong. And if you feel weak, let yourself be weak in front of someone you trust.
Nothing or no embarrassment can compare to a beautiful life that awaits you on the other side.