Problem gambling has negative physical, psychological, and social repercussions. It is classified as an impulse-control disorder. Problem gambling can cause physical ailments, including migraine, distress, and intestinal disorders. It can also lead to feelings of despondency, helplessness, and even attempts at suicide. These problems are common in people of all ages, including college students and those in the workforce. But if you feel that you have a gambling problem, you may be a candidate for treatment.
Gambling addiction is an impulse-control disorder
The notion that Gambling Disorder is an impulse-control disorder is central to our understanding of the disease. Impulsivity describes a range of inappropriate, risky, and unduly hasty actions, usually resulting in negative consequences. Recent models of impulsivity emphasize the multifactorial nature of impulsivity and the importance of considering brain-based mechanisms. For example, in this meta-analysis, impulsivity was found to be elevated in problem gamblers.
It affects every form of gambling
Despite the negative impact of gambling, it’s worth mentioning that the good effects are also real. A recent study found that half of problem gamblers have missed at least one month of paid work, and thirty percent were receiving social benefits. While not always related to gambling, this lack of employment may not be due to the problem, but literature indicates that those who are affected by problem gambling have worse work performance. Moreover, this type of gambling can lead to criminal acts in the workplace.
It can cause nongambling health problems
Research shows that problem gamblers have higher rates of suicide than nongamblers. Those who gamble excessively often have underlying mental health problems or substance abuse issues. Suicide attempts also tend to be more severe for people who have been threatened with suicide or have tried to harm themselves. If you suspect that someone you know is suicidal, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Dial 911 if you feel you might be in danger.
It can be a problem for people of all levels of intelligence
Problem gambling can be a very common mental disorder among people of all ages. Gamblers can experience a range of negative effects, including financial, relationship, and legal problems. Some people may even experience mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. The symptoms of problem gambling vary between individuals, depending on the level of intelligence. People with low IQs are also at higher risk. Despite this, problem gamblers often blame others for their problems and do not take responsibility for their gambling behaviors.
It can be treated
Like any addiction, gambling can be treated. Treatment options include pharmacological medications, 12-step programs, and cognitive behavioral therapy. The latter is especially effective in helping people deal with their gambling addiction. The goal of this type of therapy is to help people identify the underlying causes of their behavior and learn effective relapse prevention techniques. Support groups and self-help guides are also available for those suffering from gambling addiction. They can help those struggling with gambling overcome their problems by sharing experiences, helping each other, and offering judgment-free advice.