Disorders of any kind can create lots of problems but some of them can jeopardize the life of not only the affected person but also of those who are close to him. Gambling addiction is one of them.
What Is Gambling Disorder:
Gambling disorder, also known as gambling addiction or compulsive addiction, involves repeated problematic gambling behavior that causes significant problems or distress.
It is like any other addiction. The affected person craves to gamble the way an alcoholic craves alcohol. This disorder like any lother has many downsides, it can bring financial problems, a break-up, and a divorce and other legal battles too. People with gambling disorders lie a lot to everyone to cover up their addiction and often end up seeking help from others when they land in financial problems.
An addicted gambler does not gamble for money, but he gambles for the excitement that comes with the suspense and the high that they get from winning or losing which is often an escape from the practical world.
Gambling Disorder DSM 5:
Gambling Disorder is a behavioral addiction diagnosis introduced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5). DSM which is considered the gold standard in the mental health space has recognized it formally now.
Although experts have always drawn similarities between gambling and drug addiction, it is not clear whether behavioral addictions have similar characteristics to substance addictions.
What is now unquestioned is that gambling behaviors can become compulsive, can lead to major financial and emotional problems, and are treatable using similar approaches to the treatment of substance addictions. This has been repeatedly demonstrated by research, and as a result, it is now fully recognized as an addictive disorder.
Understanding The Symptoms Of Gambling Disorder:
Tries to gamble with increased amounts of money every time to feel the surge of excitement
Gets restless and irritable if forced or tries to stop gambling
Fails to stop gambling no matter how much he tries
Thinks about gambling all the time
Gambling becomes his way to de-stress
Losing money actually becomes the reason to gamble more
Lies to cover his gambling activity
Faces breakups in relationships, loses job or educational opportunities because of gambling
Constantly asks for money from others for gambling
Symptoms can sometimes subside and can become stronger too
The disorder can be hereditary and some environmental factors can also contribute to this disorder
Gambling disorder is not age-dependent; a person can become an a ddict even in adolescence.Men are likely to get addicted earlier than women.
Things You Can Do To Help A Gambling Addict:
Seek Help from self-help groups for families of gambling addicts like Gam-On
Concentrate on the addict’s good qualities and try to help him out
Instead of preaching or criticizing, keep your approach conversational with the addict and discuss the side-effects of gambling
Let the addict know how gambling is affecting you and your family and why have you decided to take help
Educate your kids about gambling disorder
Understand the fact that gambling addiction needs proper treatment, just like any other addiction
Be in control of the family finances. Keep a check on bank balance and credit card bills.
What You Should Not Do:
Argue, lecture or blame; get angry
Boycotting the addict from family discussions and activities
Expecting quick recovery, gambling addiction treatment takes time just like any other addiction
Help them financially or bail him out
Denying that the problem exists. Covering up the problem will only delay treatment and worsen the problem.
It will, no doubt, be difficult to have a gambling addict in the family. It will bring disgrace, financial problems and emotional issues. But the sooner you accept the problem the faster will be the recovery. Counseling will help you to focus on the positive points and the right way to tackle the problem so that you and your family members can manage the anxiety and stress that comes with a gambling addict in the family.