Experiencing problems due to excessive gambling? Here are some of the reasons why you should seek help. Understand the costs and symptoms of this addiction and find ways to overcome them. If you are unable to overcome your addiction, contact a mental health professional or a gambling counselor. You can also seek help from a peer support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous. The 12-step program is similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, and involves seeking help from a sponsor – a person who once suffered from a gambling addiction.
Problems associated with excessive gambling
Many studies show that the risks of excessive gambling are a function of a family’s financial status and socioeconomic status. Some studies suggest that the risk of excessive gambling is increased in families with low social support and a low income-employment level. Other studies have focused on the role of parents in the development of gambling problems. Parents’ approval and supervision of gambling significantly affect children’s risks and behaviors. Positive parental attitudes are protective of children from gambling problems, while authoritarian family situations are more harmful.
Although a small proportion of adults experience significant problems related to gambling, adolescents may be at risk for developing such a condition. Several meta-analyses of adolescent problem gambling consistently show that this population is at high risk for developing pathological gambling. Adolescents are more likely than females to engage in gambling and to meet clinical criteria for pathological gambling. While adolescent problem gamblers fail to recognize that they are at risk for gambling problems, many consider the risks as long-term. Sadly, few adolescents seek treatment for their disordered gambling.
The costs associated with gambling are often discussed. There are many types of costs, both private and public, but economists are not generally in agreement about which costs are more important. Various studies have used varying methods to assess the social costs of gambling. Nonetheless, the costs associated with gambling are well worth considering. The social costs of gambling are largely intangible. Intangible costs include the negative effects on people’s lives.
In addition to lost productivity, problem gamblers can cause financial losses. Employers may need to pay for extended lunch breaks, or deal with the emotional distress associated with gambling. In some cases, employers may even lose a worker because of their problem gambling. As a result, companies may face severance or replacement costs. The costs may also be passed onto society, in the form of unemployment compensation and retraining. And these costs are just the beginning.
Gambling can lead to a range of emotional and physical symptoms. These include insomnia, depression, anxiety, and muscle soreness. Symptoms can also be physical, such as dark circles under the eyes and chest tightness. If left untreated, these symptoms can intensify as a person begins to withdraw from the problem. In some cases, these symptoms can lead to a compulsion to continue gambling. However, there are ways to alleviate these symptoms.
Often, problem gamblers withdraw from friends and family members. The reasons for this withdrawal can be guilt or the desire to hide the problem. Often, the withdrawal occurs physically, so that family and friends may feel uncomfortable. Compulsive gamblers will also attempt to cover up their losses by gambling more. This destructive cycle of gambling can have serious consequences on a person’s physical and emotional health. Eventually, this pattern will continue until the gambler is completely bankrupt and cannot pay back his debts.
Depending on the severity of the problem, a gambling addict may require an inpatient treatment program. Inpatient treatment provides constant supervision, intensive daily sessions, and coaching on how to manage one’s life in a healthier way. While a few weeks of inpatient treatment is not a cure, it can help a gambler establish a new way of life. Inpatient programs may include 12-step programs, which follow the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. During these programs, the gambler may meet with a mental health provider weekly.
In addition to seeking help from a mental health professional, a gambler may talk with their primary care doctor. This professional will ask about the extent of the problem and may want to consult family members, if applicable. Although confidentiality laws prevent doctors from disclosing medical information without consent, they will be able to identify whether a person is experiencing compulsive behavior related to their gambling habits. In addition, a physical examination can help the medical professional determine if they need to seek further treatment for their gambling addiction.