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Compulsive Gambling

The Diagnosis

Let’s take a look at the medical aspect of compulsive gambling. If you recognize the fact that you may have problems with your betting, you need to speak with your medical doctor. He/she (the primary care doctor) should help you evaluate or manage your mental health professionally. Unlike what many people think gambling addiction is hardly treatable, if you are of that school of thought, then you need more knowledge. Compulsive gambling is not only manageable, with the right therapies and medications; it is curable. After all, that’s why we’ve come up with this piece, to shine a light on some of the misconceptions people have about this gambling addiction.

The Evaluation Stage

The first phase of any problem is the evaluation stage. Doctors evaluate your problem by doing all of the things we’ve highlighted below.

1. Ask your questions that relate to your gambling habits.

He or she may also seek your permission to speak with your friends and, more importantly, your family members. But confidentiality laws prevent your doctor from sharing any vital information about you without your consent. So, you don’t have to worry about that – if you don’t want your health information shared with anyone, it won’t be.

2. Your medical information will be reviewed. 

Some drugs can have rare side effects, which results in a compulsive behavior; this also includes gambling in some people. All that needs to be done is a physical exam that may identify some problems with your health that are sometimes associated with gambling addiction. The doctors need to do this to be able to understand your conditions.

3. Do a psychiatric assessment.

One of the things a medical professional will do is do a psychiatric assessment. It will include questions about your thoughts, behavior patterns, symptoms, and feelings related to your compulsive gambling. Depending on the signs and symptoms you are showing, there may be a need for a mental health evaluation to check for disorders, which sometimes are related to your excessive gambling.

4. Using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM – 5).

For those who don’t know what DSM-5 is, it was published by APA (American Psychiatric Association, lists criteria for the diagnosis of gambling disorder. It’s quite useful too.

These are some of the evaluation procedures that will be carried out to check for gambling disorders. Now that you are conversant with it let us move on to some of the treatments that can be used to cure gambling addictions in bettors.

Effective Treatment for Compulsive Gambling.

Treating compulsive gambling can be tough. Why is that? That is partly because those affected hardly come to terms that they are indeed addicts. In our previous article, we pointed out the fact that the road to recovery starts with you accepting that part of you – accepting the fact that you are indeed a compulsive gambler. However, the major part of treating this illness is working on acknowledging that you have a problem and need treatment because only then will there not be friction between you and your healing process. Trust me, a man’s will to recover plays a significant part in his recovery process – never underestimate it.

If your employer or loved ones pressured you into going for therapy, you may find yourself resisting it. In general, treating gambling problem can help your gain back your sense of control – and interestingly, it will also help you heal the damaged finances and relationships that were destroyed in your dark times when you were still in the tunnel. So, what are some of the treatments for compulsive gambling? It usually includes some of these approaches:

Medications

Mood stabilizers and Antidepressants may help alleviate the symptoms that often go with compulsive gambling – such as OCD, ADHD, or depression. Some antidepressants are known to be effective in reducing gambling behavior. Some medications are useful in treating substance abuse – they may also treat compulsive gambling. One such drug is called narcotic antagonists.

Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral or behavioral therapy may be useful too. Behavioral treatment, on the one hand, uses systematic exposure to the behavior you want to unlearn. That’s not all. It also teaches you new and positive skills to help reduce that craving for gambling. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, on the other hand, focuses on putting the spotlight on unhealthy, irrational, and negative beliefs while also replacing them with positive ones that are also healthy.

Self-help groups

Some people find it easier to share their gambling problems with others. It is efficient and is a part of the entire treatment. Ask your medical doctor for professional for advice on self – help groups such as gamblers anonymous and other beneficial resources.

Most times, treatment for compulsive gambling may involve an inpatient program, outpatient program as well as a residential treatment program. However, it all depends on your resources and needs. Treatment for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or any form of mental health disorder may be part of your entire treatment process for your addiction.

Preventing Relapse

What’s the one major enemy of an addict? Relapse! That is one thing a whole lot of addicts fight with every day, especially those who seem to be sober or are trying to fight it. But when you get to fight and quench your craving. Even with the treatment, we’ve highlighted, returning to gambling is possible – especially when you keep hanging out with people who would trigger that old part of you.

Coping and Support

These are some coping mechanisms and recovery skills to help you successfully resist the cravings for gambling.

Stay focused on your primary goal – which is to stop gambling in its entirety.

  • You should tell yourself it’s too risky to gamble. That way, whenever your mind goes there, the adverse effects will continue to pop in your head and ultimately discourage that urge.
  • Permit yourself to ask for help – using sheer willpower isn’t enough to conquer your compulsive gambling.
  • Recognize the triggers and avoid the situations. For instance, avoid casinos.

Conclusion

So, from online casino addiction to the usual casino addiction gotten as a result of gambling in a casino, this piece will help you in ways you can’t imagine. While you are at your medical professional’s place, you should share all your experiences with him/her.

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