www.USAPlayers.com Online Gambling Issues Problem Gambling
Problem gambling is the general term given to a type of behavior that constitutes gambling at disproportionate levels and risking health and wealth to do so. The medical term for problem gambling is ludomania, while professionals treating the disorder also refer to it as compulsive gambling. In truth, problem gambling is a compulsive disorder that causes the sufferer to have the urge to gamble, despite the negative consequences of his or her actions. Problem gambling comes at all levels, and there is no set typecast for the ‘typical’ compulsive gambler. However, more often than not, problem gamblers will act in a way that immediately helps professionals identify that they have difficulty controlling their gambling habits.
What are the Signs of Problem Gambling
While there is no one sign that can tell that a gambler has a problem or not, a combination of several will definitely help professionals give a proper diagnosis. These include:
The need to wager more and more to get that unique ‘rush’ experienced in a gaming session. A problem gambler will need to wager much, much more than one without a problem in order to get that feeling.
Withdrawing from family and friends. The problem gambler will speak less, disappear for longer hours and generally engage less with everyone around them.
Mood swings. These range from irritability as reality sets in when they realize that they have lost the rent money, to ecstasy when they make a minor win or simply have their daily gambling session.
Lying and cheating. A person who lies about his gambling habits usually has a gambling problem. On a more serious level, some problem gamblers may cheat or steal to get their hands on money to fund their gambling habits.
Acting in a way that could jeopardize relationships with those closest to him. If a person continues gambling despite the fact that his wife left him because of the problem, for example, this is a sure sign of a problem gambler.
Treating Problem Gambling
The first step in treating a gambling problem is identifying that one exists. However, it is not enough that the problem is pointed out by other people. The gambler needs to admit that there is a problem for treatment to really work. Dr. Phil calls this “owning the problem”.
Once the gambler is ready to step up and own the problem, there are various treatments available.
These range from:
Counseling: Whether through a phone line or on a one to one basis with a professional therapist.
Programs: The most popular that comes to mind is Gamblers Anonymous that offers step by step programs in every US state.
Self Help: Motivational books or internet sites are becoming more popular among those looking to solve their bad gambling habits.
The good news is that the rate of problem gambling has remained steady for many years, with no signs of increasing among the general population. However, for those who have a problem, it can be very real and scary. Thankfully, there are many ways to identify and treat the problem at whatever stage it is.
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