Symptoms of Problem Gambling include increased desire to gamble and the inability to control one’s impulses. An unhealthy gambling habit leads to a vicious cycle where a person needs to gamble more in order to experience the same high. In a vicious cycle, increased cravings lead to decreased resistance and weakened control over urges to gamble. Ultimately, gambling addiction is a serious problem that can affect one’s physical, psychological, social, and professional life.
Symptoms of a gambling addiction
If you’re worried that your loved one has a gambling addiction, you’re not alone. Sadly, many families are unaware of this problem, and don’t understand how to help. Usually, loved ones don’t realize the extent of the problem until they face drastic challenges that they are unable to ignore. Fortunately, intervention is possible in some cases. While it’s never easy to confront a gambling addict, you can use these signs to help the individual realize the impact of their behavior.
The symptoms of gambling addiction include restlessness, anxiety, and depression. Gambling is a way for someone to escape uncomfortable feelings, or to recover lost money. It can affect their social lives as well. They may even lie to cover up their addiction. And, their bodies may change. They may experience acne, dark circles under the eyes, or weight loss. These physical changes can result in a deterioration of their overall health.
While people with gambling problems may resist therapy, it is often very helpful. A number of therapies may be helpful in overcoming the problem and gaining control over one’s finances and relationships. Cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, focuses on changing unhealthy beliefs and replacing them with healthy ones. Other therapies, such as family therapy, can be effective in helping people with gambling problems quit their addiction. However, the decision to seek help for gambling addiction should be made carefully.
Inpatient rehab programs may be the most effective treatment option for people suffering from addiction. Inpatient rehab programs are geared towards treating those with severe gambling problems. This type of rehab program can be life-altering and may be the most appropriate choice for you. Residential treatment programs often consist of a 12-week stay at a specialized facility where you’ll receive time, professional support, and individualized treatment plans. These programs also help individuals understand their triggers and help them develop coping mechanisms.
Prevalence of problem gambling in the U.S.
There is no clear-cut answer to the question of how many Americans have problem gambling. The most relevant data reflect the prevalence of pathological gambling in the past year. Thirteen studies were published between 1992 and 1996 reporting the percentages of past-year pathological gamblers. Of these, 12 used the SOGS or its variant. The New Mexico Department of Health study, however, used a DSM-IV instrument modified to measure problem gambling. It reported a significantly higher prevalence rate of problem gambling than the other studies, but this result is also a lone outlier.
The highest prevalence of problem gambling was found among blacks (8.3%) and Hispanics (6.7%), while it was least common among whites and Asians (2.8%). Among the demographics, age is a significant factor. Problem gambling rates are highest in the youngest age group, between 18 and 30, and decrease with increasing age. The prevalence of problem gambling is highest among those in the lowest third of the SES, but decreases rapidly as one rises in income.