Gambling is a form of risk-taking wherein an individual stakes a value on an uncertain event. The risk and prize are two of the key considerations when it comes to gambling. If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to gambling, it may be time to seek help. To help you overcome this problem, here are some important tips:

Understanding the nature of pathological gambling

In recent years, the field of mental health has devoted increasing attention to the symptoms and diagnosis of pathological gambling. Pathological gambling is a behavior characterized by irrational behavior and a loss of control over one’s spending habits. This behavior is uncontrollable and carries with it significant risk of damage. It is a form of addiction and must be treated accordingly. The symptoms and diagnosis of pathological gambling are similar to those of other substance abuse disorders.

One of the most striking consequences of pathological gambling is the accumulation of debt and financial losses. In just a few hours, a pathological gambler can destroy his entire financial portfolio. Some have even lost their life savings in a single gambling session. While this problem is especially troubling for senior citizens, younger gamblers may be able to stabilize their debts and avoid financial disaster. But no matter what kind of financial consequences pathological gamblers face, their gambling behavior requires treatment in order to be free of its addictive nature.


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recently updated their criteria for diagnosing compulsive gambling disorder. The criteria now require four specific signs of compulsive gambling within a year of onset. If any of these symptoms are present, they may not be indicative of a gambling problem. However, they should not be dismissed as the result of a mental health condition. In these situations, dual diagnosis treatment is recommended.

Compulsive gambling is often accompanied by a variety of physical and emotional symptoms. These include suicidal thoughts and even attempts. People with gambling addictions may also experience symptoms of anxiety or depression, or exhibit self-harming tendencies. Additionally, the withdrawal symptoms can be intense, with a person feeling desperate and hopeless. These symptoms can intensify as the problem becomes more severe. In addition, the person may experience weight gain or loss, pale skin, and dark circles under the eyes.


Treatment for gambling addiction is needed for the many individuals suffering from a serious gambling disorder. While statistics show that about 2%-3% of the population is at risk of developing this problem, it is also estimated that as many as 1% of the world’s population is suffering from this condition. Gambling problem is particularly common among teens, affecting two to three times as many teenagers as adults. The chances of developing this problem are even higher in people with alcohol use disorders.

A good option for those suffering from a serious gambling disorder is an inpatient rehabilitation facility. This can last anywhere from thirty to ninety days and remove the addict from temptation. This treatment program helps the patient develop the ability to avoid the urge to gamble by learning how to identify and avoid triggers. It may also include family counseling and the use of medication. Treatment for gambling addiction is not difficult to find and can result in a long-term recovery.

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