Gambling
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Gambling is more accessible than ever. With more and more states allowing casinos – and more and more gambling opportunities on the internet – it’s more important than ever to recognize the signs and symptoms of gambling addictions.

What Is Gambling Disorder?

Gambling disorder, also known as gambling addiction or compulsive gambling, is a behavioral health disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to gamble, even when the net effect of this gambling is harmful. As an example, an adult with a gambling disorder may skip work to gamble, ignore loved ones or go broke. Adolescents with gambling disorder might skip school, neglect homework or even resort to theft.

Not everyone who gambles will develop gambling addictions, much like how not everyone who drinks will develop alcoholism. Researchers aren’t quite sure why some people are more susceptible to gambling disorder than others, although they have found that people with gambling addiction often have other behavior or mood disorders including depression, ADHD and substance addiction.

Symptoms of Gambling Disorder

Compulsive gambling often emerges during adolescence, making it important for adults and teens alike to recognize the signs and symptoms.

Symptoms of gambling addictions include:

  • Lying about gambling frequency
  • Failing to cut back on gambling
  • Gambling despite having no money
  • Worried friends and family members
  • Obsessing over gambling
  • Feeling guilty or remorseful after gambling
  • Skipping school or work to gamble

People with gambling disorder don’t necessarily gamble every day – in fact, a problem gambler may gamble frequently or infrequently. What distinguishes a healthy gambler from a problem gambler is whether or not gambling negatively impacts his or her life.

Treatment For Gambling Disorder

Thankfully, gambling addiction treatment is available for those that need it. Gambling addiction recovery can be done using any of the following methods:

Psychotherapy including cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy can provide teens with coping mechanisms to reduce the urge to gamble. Psychotherapy can also address any underlying mental illnesses or substance use disorders that may be fueling their gambling addiction.

Medication including antidepressants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotics can be used to fight any mental illnesses that might be exacerbating the gambling disorder. As an example, a teenager with depression might seek solace in online gambling, or a teenager with bipolar disorder might make risky gambling decisions while experiencing a manic episode.

Support groups can help teenagers realize that they are not alone in their struggles. Teens can also learn coping skills and behavioral tips and tricks from fellow persons with the same type of addiction.

A treatment that works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for someone else. For this reason, treating gambling disorder requires a certain amount of trial and error. It is, however, possible to successfully treat gambling disorder, just like how it’s possible to treat substance abuse.

Gambling Addiction Recovery at Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego

Sovereign Health provides gambling treatment centers for both adults and teens. Our Rancho San Diego location specifically offers treatment for gambling for both male and female adolescents and teens. Our treatment options provide an accurate diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment program specifically built for each individual patient. For more information about gambling addiction and Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego, contact our 24/7 helpline.

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