Gambling is an activity that involves betting something of value, such as money, on an uncertain event. The goal is to win something else of value, such as a prize. It is a form of entertainment and can be a way to unwind, but it also has the potential to be a very addictive activity. Fortunately, there are many organizations and resources available to support those who have a gambling problem.
Whether you are an individual or a family member, there are some simple steps you can take to help a person suffering from a gambling addiction. A good place to start is by asking for the patient’s permission to discuss the issue. This can help to reduce resistance and increase acceptance.
In addition to helping to address the gambler’s need to gamble, a health care provider can also assist in assessing the gambler’s gambling-related health risks. Although there is not yet extensive research on these issues, it is possible that gambling may lead to adverse health effects in certain populations. For example, people with a mood disorder may continue to experience problems even after they have stopped gambling.
Another concern with gambling is the possibility of self-destructive behavior. People who suffer from gambling addictions often experience high levels of suicidal ideation, which can contribute to their stress and depression. If you are a spouse, parent, friend, or caregiver, it is important to be able to recognize signs of problem gambling and to offer a positive and supportive approach.
Many people who have problems with gambling feel that they have no control over their gambling behavior. Consequently, they find themselves in financial distress and struggle with stress and other problems. Ultimately, the gambling addict must overcome the urge to gamble. However, it is not always easy to do so. There are several options to assist the afflicted, including credit counseling, family therapy, and career counselling.
Several mental health professionals have developed criteria to identify problem gambling. Some of these guidelines have been based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and are published by the American Psychiatric Association. Those with gambling-related problems can receive free and confidential counselling. These programs are offered through both public and private organisations.
Gambling is an addictive activity, and it is a good idea to set limits on your own finances. When you are gambling, keep a small amount of cash in a safe place. Don’t use your credit cards or online betting accounts. Also, set aside a limited amount of money each month. You can ask a bank or sponsor to make automatic payments for your gambling.
While a gambling screen is not a diagnostic tool, it is a useful tool to assist in focusing on the impact of your gambling. The results of a gambling screen should be used to suggest that the gambler is experiencing problems with their gambling. Avoid using terms such as “pathological” or “compulsive” when evaluating the gambler’s behaviors.