Many mental health professionals use certain criteria to diagnose and treat problem gambling. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, includes Gambling Disorder alongside other addictions. The criteria states that the Gambler has made repeated attempts to control their gambling. In some cases, the Gambler may be in denial about their behavior. Other warning signs include lying to others and relying on other people for money.
The symptoms of gambling addiction vary widely, and they are not always obvious. Some people become dependent on the games of chance, and may even start to steal money to fund their gambling. While there is no one single reason to be a problem gambler, it is important to note that the behavior can affect relationships and work. Some people develop a gambling problem regardless of their intelligence level. Some individuals may be at risk of developing a gambling addiction if their family members have a problem with gambling.
Once an individual begins to recognize that they have a gambling problem, they need to strengthen their support systems. They should connect with family and friends to make new friends who are not dependent on gambling. They should also take education classes and volunteer for worthy causes. Joining a peer support group is another important step. One of these groups is Gamblers Anonymous. The group follows the same 12-step recovery program as Alcoholics Anonymous. To begin, a member must have a sponsor, who is an ex-gambler. A sponsor is a mentor and a source of encouragement for a recovering gambler.
However, the benefits and risks associated with gambling are still not clear. As a legal activity, gambling has become widespread in most of society, and is often categorized as a non-drug-related activity. Despite its legitimacy, the addictive nature of gambling makes it important to screen patients for gambling addiction. However, there is a limited amount of research available on the risks associated with gambling and the potential for developing gambling addiction. And, since gambling is widely legalized, primary care providers should be aware of it.
Gambling is a risky activity and should be treated as a part of your budget and not an attempt to make money. A good rule of thumb is to keep gambling expenses to a minimum. Unless you have an enormous amount of money to lose, gambling shouldn’t be an easy way to make money. For instance, gambling can be conducted with objects that hold value, such as marbles. Similarly, players of card games such as Magic: The Gathering may stake collectible game pieces, resulting in a meta-game about the collection of each player.
In addition to its negative impact on mental health, gambling addiction is also detrimental to a person’s physical and social wellbeing. As a result, the person is likely to engage in impulsive gambling in an attempt to gain “a high” that they had previously lost. Such actions are unhelpful and have devastating consequences on a person’s psychological, social, and professional lives. Further, the effects of gambling addiction can lead to thoughts of suicide.