Problem gambling is a condition in which a person’s impulse control becomes impaired and he/she starts to gamble too much. While the activity can be entertaining on an occasional basis, it can soon turn into a habit. The following are some signs that a person is developing an addiction to gambling. You can start identifying these symptoms by keeping an eye on your spending patterns and how much time you devote to gambling. If you find yourself losing money on gambling, it is probably time to seek help.
Problem gambling is a form of impulse-control disorder
The symptoms of problem gambling are similar to those of other impulse-control disorders. Pathological gamblers are obsessed with gambling and often borrow money from family and friends to fund their obsessions. They may even lie to themselves or their family members to cover up their actions. However, if these symptoms are present for longer than 12 months, problem gambling may be a substance abuse disorder. Regardless of the cause, treatment is available for problem gamblers and can be effective in regaining control over one’s life.
Earlier, problem gambling was considered a form of impulse control disorder, but it was recently reclassified as an addiction by the American Psychiatric Association. In other words, a person suffering from problem gambling may not recognize that their behavior is harmful, but the thought of engaging in it becomes an overwhelming and intrusive thought. Eventually, it is impossible for them to resist the urge to gamble, and their only solution to deal with the overwhelming feelings is to engage in the behavior.
It is a social problem
Many anti-gambling activists argue that gambling is a social problem. However, this argument ignores the fact that gambling is a legal business in the United States. By labeling gambling as a social problem, it would also mean that other legal businesses are also problematic. That is unlikely to happen, and the debate is likely to continue indefinitely. In the meantime, many people continue to gamble for entertainment, stress relief, or to avoid grief and sadness.
While there is no single solution, research suggests that gambling is strongly linked to various social ills. According to Hardoon et al., a study involving adolescents found that the most significant risk factor for gambling addiction among them was a lack of healthy familial support. Other risk factors were substance abuse and behavioral problems, as well as family problems. Furthermore, more than half of respondents said they knew someone who had a gambling problem.
It can lead to depression
The effects of compulsive gambling can be devastating to an individual’s well-being. Some individuals with gambling problems experience despair, even thoughts of suicide. Research indicates that more than 60 percent of compulsive gamblers have considered suicide at some point in their life. Other effects of compulsive gambling include increased stress and tension, and a disturbed sleep cycle. If you suspect that you may be a compulsive gambler, it’s time to seek help.
While counseling can help you understand your behavior and address the underlying causes, the best treatment for gambling-related depression is psychological. Drugs are usually prescribed in combination with therapy. Antidepressants (such as fluoxetine) can effectively treat depression associated with compulsive gambling. SSRIs reduce impulsivity and depression. Some forms of gambling therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. The first step is to seek treatment from a licensed professional.
It can be beneficial to society
The social benefits and costs of gambling are often overlooked in studies of this activity. The economic benefits and costs have been quantified, but not the social costs and benefits. In Australia, for instance, the gambling industry produces an estimated $8-$11 billion in consumer surplus per year. This arbitrary amount of money cannot fully capture the positive and negative social effects of gambling, which are often more tangential and nonmonetary in nature.
The economic benefits of legal gambling can be measured in tax revenues and employment, and this is a good thing. Government-run lotteries and other gambling venues generate tax revenue and jobs for people living in the community. This money can then be used for good causes. But is gambling good for society? This question has many answers. And there are some benefits and disadvantages associated with this activity. Let’s explore those benefits and drawbacks.