What is Pathologic Gambling?
Poker, Sports Betting, Casino Games, Slots, Internet Bets, Horse Racing, The Lottery,
Stock Market Trading… what do they all have in common?
They are all considered popular forms of gambling.
Gambling involves risking something of value on an event or activity in which the outcome is uncertain (usually involving money). The thought is by taking the risk, there will be an immediate reward. Although, skill may be involved, it can reduce but does not diminish the overall uncertainty.
Research shows that:
- 4-5% of Americans are problem gamblers
- 1% of Americans are pathological gamblers (severe problem gamblers)
- Gender: 32% female; 68% male
- Mean time problem gambling: 16 hours/week
- Amount Lost: 45% of gross annual income
- Primary Triggers: Boredom, Stress, Advertisements
- Cravings & Urges occur prior to engagement in the problem activity.
Problem Gamblers: spend time and money gambling in a way that becomes harmful.
The main symptom of problem gambling is a loss of control over their gambling which is described as:
- Escalation – of the gambling as an individual needs to take greater risks to win back money or to maintain a certain level of excitement.
- Diminshed Control – an inability to stop gambling when they are ahead. Most problem and pathological gamblers will continue gambling until all their money is gone.
Common Signs of Problem Gambling:
Gambling longer than you intended
Betting “over your head” and then “chasing your losses”
Lying to family and friends about how much or how often you’re gambling
Missing work or family commitments and/or being distracted from your life because of gambling.
As gambling problems grow, feelings of guilt, shame and depression also grow…
A gambling addiction can have extremely negative effects on a person’s life. Whether the gambling takes place legally or illegally, it can corrode personal relationships as the addict becomes more obsessed. It can also jeopardize a person’s career and financial stability. The Control Center uses personalized gambling addiction treatment plans to address these issues so compulsive gamblers can regain control over their lives.
Gambling Addiction and Mental Health
Compulsive gambling often co-exists with mental health disorders. Without a treatment plan that addresses these mental health issues, it is often difficult for gambling addicts to remain in control of their lives. Some of the mental health issues connected to compulsive gambling include:
- Low self-esteem
- Impulse control disorder
Gambling Addiction Treatment Services
An effective gambling addiction treatment plan needs to include therapies that can improve the addict’s overall mental health. The Control Center includes several outpatient therapies to make sure that compulsive gamblers get the help they need. These services can include:
- Neuropsychological Assessment to diagnose any underlying mental health issues
- Individual Counseling that helps gambling addicts learn healthier coping strategies so that they can avoid gambling
- Group Therapy that allows compulsive gamblers to learn from each other and find support
- Family and Couples Therapy to repair relationships damaged by compulsive gambling and build stronger connections that support long-term control
- Spiritual Therapy that enables gambling addicts to take control of their lives through meditation, yoga, creative visualization, and breathing exercises
Gambling Addiction and Related Disorders
Since compulsive gamblers often have difficulty controling their impulses, they might also lack control in other areas of their lives. The Control Center’s personalized gambling addiction treatment plans can include services that address these issues as well. Programs from The Control Center can treat:
- Chemical Dependency
- Sex Addiction
- Shopping Addiction
- Videogame and Internet Addiction
- Eating Disorders
- Relationship and Love Addiction
If you feel that you have lost control of your gambling, contact The Control Center to learn more about how a personalized gambling addiction treatment could help you regain control of your life.