WHAT IS GAMBLING ADDICTION?
Gambling addiction, sometimes called “problem gambling,” is an impulse-control disorder. Compulsive gamblers can’t control the urge to gamble, even when they know it has negative consequences that will hurt themselves and their families through strained relationships and financial problems. Unpleasant feelings — such as stress, depression, loneliness, fear and anxiety — can trigger or worsen the disorder. Compulsive gamblers continue to gamble though they know the odds are against them, and they can’t afford to lose.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF GAMBLING ADDICTION?
Problem gambling can strain relationships, interfere with responsibilities at home and at work and lead to financial ruin. Individuals struggling with a gambling addiction may feel the need to be secretive about their gambling, have trouble controlling the urge to gamble, gamble money they do not have, steal or cause family and friends to worry about their gambling behavior.Gambling addicts get the same rush from gambling as other addicts get from drugs or alcohol. The act of gambling alters an addict’s mood, compelling him or her to gamble in order to achieve a “high.” Just as alcoholics and drug addicts develop a tolerance to alcohol and drugs, the gambler will need to gamble more and more to achieve the same effect. The continuous search for that “high” ultimately develops into an addiction.
LIFE CHANGE HEALTH INSTITUTE CAN HELP
At Life Change Health Institute, cognitive behavioral therapy and other techniques help clients change unhealthy gambling behaviors. Problem gamblers learn how to control their urges, deal with uncomfortable emotions and resolve underlying issues that brought about the addiction.
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