Nomenclature for gambling must reflect a diversity of perspectives. Different groups with varying stakes and interests have formulated contrasting world views and paradigms. Some have considered gambling as evidence of recreational interest or decreased mathematical skills, while others have viewed it as a symptom of poor judgment, mental illness, or moral turpitude. Some of the most common terms used to describe gambling have been listed below:
Pathological gamblers experience gambling as ego-syntonic and pleasurable
A pathological gambler has trouble regulating their urges to play. They engage in a pattern of gambling activities that is destructive to themselves and others. These individuals also have a tendency to commit crimes, rack up huge debts, and damage relationships. Ultimately, some pathological gamblers kill themselves. While some gamblers seek help after losing everything, others only do so because of intense physical or psychological reactions to gambling.
The ego-syntonic nature of gambling makes pathological gambling a highly addictive activity. Many pathological gamblers perceive the activity as a pleasurable and ego-syntonic activity during the early stages of the disorder. Pathological gamblers are often unaware of the negative consequences of their behavior and the emotional impact on their families.
Problem gamblers may also engage in other forms of gambling
Studies have suggested that problem gambling is a growing public health problem, and that people in certain roles in their communities are particularly vulnerable. Research shows that nearly one-third of adult problem gamblers had started gambling when they were 11-17 years old. But there’s more to problem gambling than just money. In fact, it’s often associated with other forms of gambling, as well. Problem gamblers may also engage in other types of gambling, including card games, casinos, and gaming machines.
Although problem gambling is a hidden addiction, its characteristics are not immediately obvious. Those who engage in it may not even be aware of the problem, and may even engage in self-denial to cover up their behavior. Nonetheless, there’s no reason to think that internet-based gambling is immune to the risk of problem gambling. Fortunately, there are several ways to recognize when a gambler is developing a problem.
Gambling addiction is a serious condition that can derail your entire life. It can ruin relationships, careers, finances, and your health. The first step to recovery is to seek help from a mental health professional or a primary care physician. Treatment for gambling addiction will offer you tools and support to overcome your problem. If you continue to gamble despite your efforts, the consequences can be disastrous. Your family and friends may end up hurt, you may even lose your education.
Individual and group therapy are two of the main options for treatment for gambling addiction. Therapy may help the person regain control over their behavior, improve relationships, and repair their finances. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may find that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or family therapy are beneficial. Behavioral therapy focuses on replacing unhealthy beliefs with healthy ones. Psychotherapy can address the underlying causes of the problem and reverse the negative effects of gambling.