Gambling is the activity of placing a bet on a prize, game, or event that is not fully known to the bettors. Three elements of gambling are required: consideration, risk, and prize. Those with gambling problems often need help to overcome this addiction. Listed below are some signs and treatment options for problem gamblers. Once you recognize them, you may be ready to seek help. For more information, visit our gambling resources page.
Symptoms of problem gambling
Problem gambling can lead to severe debt, loss of interest in other activities, depression, and a host of other symptoms. In addition, problem gamblers often conceal their gambling activities, lie about their spending habits, and steal money. Often, they are extremely secretive about their behavior, hiding their debt until it is so severe that they feel hopeless. Problem gamblers may even engage in argumentative behavior. Fortunately, there are ways to identify the signs of problem gambling and help those affected.
Among Washington State residents, problem gambling is estimated to affect 80,000-160,000 people. While gambling is a common form of entertainment, it can quickly escalate into an addiction, resulting in lost productivity and even criminal activity. Because of these potential consequences, employers should know how to recognize the signs of problem gambling, which include excessive spending, poor performance, and absenteeism. These classic symptoms can indicate that a person is having a problem with gambling and should seek help right away.
Various treatment options are available to help individuals suffering from a gambling problem. In some cases, therapy can be very helpful in identifying patterns that may lead to further gambling. Behavioral therapy, for example, involves challenging harmful thoughts and behaviors. Other treatment options may be available in the form of support groups similar to NA and AA. These groups work to replace unhealthy beliefs with healthy ones. A combination of these forms of treatment may be beneficial.
There are also several self-help interventions that can facilitate recovery and reduce barriers to professional treatment. Perhaps the most popular and widely accessible form of self-help is the meeting of Gamblers Anonymous. Other recently developed interventions include bibliotherapy and computer-assisted self-help. Although there is no one treatment option that is 100% effective, many studies have shown that the participants of such interventions perform better than those in a control group waiting to see a doctor.
Signs of a problem gambler
Gambling addiction is a serious condition characterized by excessive spending and gambling, which often ruins relationships. People with gambling addictions often spend money they don’t have and can accumulate large debts. They often gamble to escape from depression or slow boredom. Despite their failures to win, they may never stop their addictions. However, it is possible to spot a problem gambler at the early signs of its development.
A problem gambler becomes so involved in their gambling activities that they lose track of time and place. They lose track of time, become impatient, agitated, or even lose consciousness. They also lose job opportunities, relationships, or education. In some extreme cases, a problem gambler even falls asleep. Ultimately, they become totally reliant on gambling to support themselves and their relationships. The financial impact of this type of addiction can be devastating to an entire family.