Gambling is an addictive behavior with a wide range of negative repercussions on the individual. The negative consequences of this disorder range from the psychological to the physical and social. The DSM-IV classifies gambling disorder as an impulse-control disorder. Gamblers can experience physical health problems, such as headaches, intestinal disorders, and even intestinal blockages, if they don’t manage their gambling. Symptoms of gambling addiction can range from feelings of despondency and helplessness to attempts at suicide.
The American Psychiatric Association recognizes a diagnosis of Gambling Disorder when someone engages in repetitive and problematic gambling behavior. This condition isn’t limited to Internet gambling and casinos, but affects people of all ages and backgrounds. People with gambling disorders often have trouble controlling their behavior and need to gamble with increasing amounts to feel the same level of excitement. When trying to stop gambling, they become irritable and restless, and may even end up losing a close relationship. While they may not have obvious problems between periods of higher symptoms, they are generally aware of their gambling problems.
While many people find it difficult to give up gambling altogether, some people find it therapeutic. Whether the goal is to increase wealth or decrease financial stress, the act of gambling involves placing a bet on an outcome that may not happen. For example, a person may bet with friends, but if they correctly predict the result of a game, they will win. But what happens if they predict the outcome incorrectly? Will their bets win or lose money?
Despite the widespread legalization of gambling, few studies have investigated the relationship between addiction and health. Despite its widespread popularity and addictive potential, gambling may be a non-drug-related activity with a high risk of negative health outcomes. The relative importance of screening and treatment for pathological gambling is debatable. This article discusses the risks and benefits of gambling for patients. It also suggests the role of general practitioners in assessing the health effects of gambling.
Treatment for problem gambling includes therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Behavioral therapy aims to change an individual’s thinking and actions that trigger compulsive behaviors. In some cases, compulsive gambling is the result of another underlying disorder, such as bipolar disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy involves changing a person’s beliefs about gambling and teaching him or her coping mechanisms. While behavioral therapy is most effective in reducing compulsive behaviors, it doesn’t prevent them from becoming addicted to it.
Problem gambling can be defined as an unhealthy obsession with gambling that disrupts one’s life. Problem gambling may include excessive spending on gambling, chasing losses, and ignoring important consequences. Many problem gamblers have other health problems that make it difficult to quit. Some may even have untreated ADHD or substance abuse problems. They may also suffer from depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, it’s important to seek help. Gambling counselling services are confidential and available 24 hours a day.