Gambling may start off as a recreation or occasional hobby for some, but for others can lead to financial devastation, broken relationships and lost jobs. Gambling addiction is a form of abuse that should be treated as any other type of addiction, including depression, eating disorders, drug abuse or alcohol abuse.
Most gambling addictions are known as compulsive behaviors and involve difficulty in controlling impulses. Even when an individual knows that gambling will hurt their finances, their job security, and even the future financial security of their family, they can't seem to stop themselves.
Some of the most common signs of a gambling addiction include:
Gambling incorporates a large range of compulsive gambling behaviors that may include but is not limited to:
Individuals preoccupied and controlled by gambling may seek a variety of treatments that deal with gambling addiction. Addiction treatment facilities and clinics around the globe treat a variety of addiction problems, including gambling through any or a combination of several avenues, including:
Addiction therapies focus on providing psychological and psychiatric support for the gambler, determining what led to the gambling, thoughts regarding gambling while it occurs, and the type of behaviors displayed by the individual, as well as consequences of gambling.
Several types of gambling addiction treatments utilize holistic approaches to treatment that take into consideration body, mind, and spirit. Detoxification, or avoidance therapies are often utilized to help individuals overcome their compulsions and desires to gamble.
One-on-one counseling sessions, educational and therapy group meetings in inpatient and outpatient settings offer emotional support for gamblers, while inpatient facilities often focus on lifestyle changes necessary to attain and maintain a quality recovery. Stays in such facilities are usually a minimum of 30 days.
Gambling therapies and treatments often focus on non-blaming or non-judgmental therapy programs that help individuals accept and overcome denial phases and recognize their addiction while at the same time receiving guidance and acceptance from therapists, positive family support and understanding.
Any form of addiction therapy should be supervised by a professionally trained expert in the field. Doctors trained in addiction therapy methodologies and mental disorders and should be experienced, certified, and members of physician organizations and associations in their country of origin. Support staff should also be certified to provide healthcare and facilities should be clean and antiseptic. Physicians should specialize in the identification and treatment of multiple forms of addiction, and some of the best specialize in neurobiology, medical and psychological support.
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