Gambling is simply the wagering of something of worth with the intention of winning something else with the same uncertain result. To put it in plain terms, gambling takes three factors to exist: risk, consideration, and a reward. You may call gambling a game of chance but there are several types of games that may fall into this category. The more traditional form of gambling is playing at a casino where you stand the chance of losing everything you initially put in, but if you come out on top you have a higher chance of making a profit.
Problem gambling is when you use gambling as an excuse for dealing with an addiction. These are examples of addictions where the symptoms are not completely physical but emotional. An example of this would be for alcoholism or drug addiction, which can be treated with therapy, counseling, and medication.
In the new fifth edition of the American psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, “problem gambling is classified as one of the various types of addiction. Like all addictions, the addiction causes a sense of guilt and self-worthlessness, causing the individual to gamble even when they do not feel like doing so. The problem gambler may feel like they need the thrill of gambling, but without the discipline to keep their finances in order they feel like gambling compulsively. This causes the person to lose track of their finances and become dependent upon the next win or loss, leading to the problem gambling condition. Gambling addicts suffer from poor impulse control and poor money management skills.
Treatment for the problem gambler includes counseling, support of family and friends, and sometimes even medication. If an individual has a gambling disorder, they will go through many phases of self-doubt, but if they are willing to take the necessary steps to change their behavior, they can get over the addiction and return to a healthier and happier life. Even if they did not leave the addiction early because it was so difficult to overcome, many people do leave the addiction because of the harsh effects that gambling has on a person’s personal relationships, finances and health. With the advent of the internet, there are many more resources available today for treating addictions, such as online groups and message boards that offer treatment for gambling behavior.
Unfortunately, there are still many individuals out there who suffer from gambling addictions who will not seek help or counsel. It is important for these individuals to know that there is help available for them, but they must first recognize that they have a problem. There are a variety of programs and services that are designed to address gambling addiction. Many of these programs are outpatient and are therefore not covered by insurance, but they will provide all the resources that the person needs to get over their addiction. These resources can be obtained by contacting local hospitals and by contacting private organizations that specialize in addiction recovery.
The unfortunate truth is that if an individual is not willing to make a commitment to change their ways, then they may never be able to overcome their gambling problem. Gambling can have a negative impact on one’s self-esteem and family life, and changing one’s outlook on the matter can often be the first step toward recovery from gambling. While it is impossible to project what the future might hold, it is hopeful to know that with the assistance of professionals, people who suffer from gambling addiction can at least take control of their lives and ensure a healthy financial future.