While many can bet and gamble responsibly, there those that get trapped in gambling’s mesmerizing lure that makes them unable to stop. This is not so surprising as the American Psychiatric Association (APA) classifies gambling disorder as an addictive disorder. What seemed to start as harmless fun, when it goes from hobby to compulsion, gambling can have severe consequences taking control over a person’s financial, social and mental well-being.
Gambling addiction is the one that most strongly resembles drug and alcohol addiction of all behavioural addictions. Compulsive gambling means that one is willing to risk anything that is value in the hope of getting something much of greater value.
Studies indicate that gambling addictions brighten the same reward system regions of the brain as substance addictions — and gambling disorder treatment is generally included as drug and alcohol abuse in the same form of therapy setting.
Australians lose more money in betting each year compared to any other country in the world. With 80 percent of the younger population gambling at some point during the year, the risk of gambling addiction in Australia is on the rise. It starts innocently enough with small betting in pokies here and there yet the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling can take a toll on a person’s life. Quitting a gambling addiction is not simple, but if you believe you or a loved one have an issue with it, there are plenty of support facilities accessible.
Negative Effects of Gambling Addiction
Gambling addiction can have a very negative impact on all aspects of life, it can have crippling financial and social effects on the gambler, their friends and family.
Financial consequences such as loss of money and assets, as well as high stages of unmanageable debt, are the most apparent effects of gambling addiction.
Problem gambling is the urge to gamble despite harmful negative consequences. Severe gambling problems might also be identified as clinical pathological gambling if the gambler meets certain criteria.
The DSM-5 has re-classified the condition as an addictive disorder, with sufferers exhibiting many similarities to those who have substance addictions. Pathological gambling (PG) is viewed by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to be an impulse control disorder rather than an addiction. However, studies indicate a closer link between pathological gambling and drug use disorders between PG and obsessive-compulsive disorder mainly because the behaviours exhibited in PG and in most substance abuse disorders, try to activate reward mechanisms in the brain, whereas, the behaviours manifested in obsessive-compulsive disorders are triggered by overactive and misdirected signals from the brain’s fear mechanisms.
Problem gambling is an addictive behaviour shown to be in comorbidity with alcohol problems. Impulsiveness is a prevalent characteristic shared by individuals suffering from gambling addiction.
Signs of Gambling Addiction
It's not always easy for someone to admit a gambling addiction. Indeed, people with a gambling problem often lie about their betting habits or try to hide them from others. An individual must have at least four of the following symptoms in a 12-month period to be diagnosed as having gambling addiction:
Not all therapy facilities are the same in their approach to gambling addiction treatment. In the same manner, The Arden Centre recognises that each person is unique and therefore, no one type of therapy works. For the treatment to be truly effective, gambling addiction therapy must be specially designed and geared to the needs of the individual.
The Arden Centre have a holistic approach to Gambling Addiction treatment. We strategise our therapies not only with the individual in mind but as well as its psychological impact to the family. The years of bad compulsive behaviour would take dedication and commitment to reverse but it can be done.
I am an energetic and committed Senior Health Care Manager with a passion for developing staff through education and mentoring.