The American Psychiatric Association’s fifth edition of Gabbard’s Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders, published by American Psychiatric Publishing, classifies pathological gambling as a compulsion rather than an addiction. Pathological gambling is primarily motivated by the desire to experience intense pleasure and reduce anxiety. In the 1980s, the American Psychiatric Association classified pathological gambling as an impulse-control disorder, along with kleptomania and pyromania. The disorder was then moved to the addictions chapter of the DSM-5 manual, which was released in 2010.
Gambling involves wagering money or something of value on an uncertain event. The primary objective is to win money or other material goods, usually in the form of a prize. The gambler must consider risk, consideration, and prize, and the outcome of the gamble is obvious in a short time. There are many forms of gambling, from buying lottery tickets to playing cards and dice for money to betting on sports and office pools. Gambling is considered “socially unacceptable” by the Federal Trade Commission and is against the law in many countries.
In order to cure your addiction to gambling, it’s necessary to address the underlying cause of your problem. Many people develop a gambling problem when they cannot control their urges and losses. The addictive nature of gambling often leads to a vicious cycle, where they can’t resist the temptation to gamble despite the negative consequences. In addition to financial harm, gambling can also affect personal relationships and negatively impact other areas of life. If you are unsure about what type of gambling addiction you have, consider consulting with a Gambling counsellor. They are free, confidential, and available round-the-clock.
In addition to counseling, there are other treatment options for people who are addicted to gambling. Behavioral therapy can help problem gamblers develop skills to resist unwanted habits and thoughts. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches individuals to confront their irrational beliefs and learn to control their urges to gamble. Some experts recommend family therapy, marriage counseling, and credit counseling as effective methods of dealing with problem gambling. However, these treatments are often expensive, and the gambler may be unable to afford them alone.
Besides understanding how to control your impulses and winning and losing, responsible gambling requires understanding the odds and knowing when to stop. Assuming you’ll lose, you should always budget for gambling as a necessary expense and not as an opportunity to make money. Once you understand why you gamble, it can be easier to prevent yourself from doing it again in the future. You’ll have a better chance of winning the next time you’re tempted to spend that money.
Although the gambling test is not a diagnostic tool, it can help you focus on the impact of gambling on your life. Avoid terms like pathological gambling and compulsive gambling. Instead, focus on how gambling affects your health. By framing it as a health problem, you’ll have fewer obstacles to overcome, and your patients may be more open to your help. In addition, a treatment plan can address various aspects of your life, including family relationships, financial problems, legal issues, and your professional situation. If you suspect that your patient has a gambling problem, you can also refer them to appropriate treatment providers.