For millions of people across the United States, gambling is a fun activity to participate in from time to time. Anyone who has gambled before can certainly understand how addictive it can be, especially when on a winning streak. However, most Americans are able to control how much they gamble and their gambling behaviors. Others have a harder time doing so.
Gambling disorder used to be considered a compulsive disorder, specifically because of how some gamblers have an innately powerful compulsion to keep gambling even if they no longer want to do so. Today, however, gambling disorder is considered an addiction disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).
Approximately 10 million Americans have a gambling disorder, which costs the United States six billion dollars a year. Men are more likely to have a gambling disorder, as 1.2% of men experience it in comparison to 0.1% women. Gambling disorder impacts people between the ages of 16 and 55 the most.
Gambling disorder, similar to substance use disorder, can be extremely dangerous for not only the gambler but also for his or her loved ones. If you or someone you know struggle with gambling, do not hesitate to reach out to our compulsive gambling treatment program in Ft. Walton, FL today.
Symptoms of Compulsive Gambling
Identifying a gambling disorder is not always easy, even if it is occurring right before one’s eyes. Many loved ones of those who struggle with gambling disorder can easily dismiss signs of problematic gambling or convince themselves that it is not as serious as it might seem. Knowing what to look for in a gambling disorder can be vital to preventing serious and potentially life-threatening consequences from occurring.
According to the DSM-V, an individual must experience four or more of the following over a 12-month period of time to be diagnosed with a gambling disorder:
- Needs to gamble with more money in order to enjoy it
- Becomes agitated when trying to curb gambling behaviors
- Has made several attempts to stop gambling
- Preoccupation with gambling, such as when to gamble next, reliving past gambling experiences, and trying to find ways to get more money to gamble
- Gambles when stressed, sad, angry, or distressed in general
- Goes back to gamble again after suffering a gambling loss
- Is deceitful about his or her relationship with gambling
- Has jeopardized or lost relationships, jobs, or other things of importance because of gambling
- Relies on others to provide money to help remedy financial problems caused by gambling
Several individuals with a gambling disorder also experience a substance use disorder or a mental illness like depression or anxiety. When one or more of these conditions is co-occurring with a gambling disorder, these symptoms plus others can become very noticeable and problematic.
Effects of Compulsive Gambling
As someone with a gambling disorder continues to gamble, he or she will experience some level of the financial crisis at one point or another. The individual can rack up a large amount of debt, gamble away belongings, drain accounts such as savings accounts and 401K’s, and borrow money from others without ever repaying it. He or she may have problems with the loved ones in his or her life, as gambling can easily erode away at trust and respect. Plus, if an individual gambles away money that was supposed to support his or her loved ones, anger and resentment can form, leading to divorce, loss of child custody, and the cessation of once important relationships.
Continuing to gamble can aid in an increase in depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies, as well as cause an individual to turn to drugs and/or alcohol, which will only make the situation worse.
JourneyPure’s Compulsive Gambling Treatment Program In Ft. Walton, FL
JourneyPure’s Fort Walton, FL complusive gambling treatment program can help those struggling with gambling disorder to stop their treacherous behaviors and start rebuilding a more positive future. However, the first step is admitting that one has a problem. From there, the appropriate treatment can be provided.
Many people benefit from a combination of medication and outpatient therapy services for their compulsive gambling treatment in Ft. Walton, FL. Common medications proven to help improve upon one’s gambling disorder include antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and opioid antagonists. For others, however, more intensive services are needed.
Inpatient treatment services are offered for those who are looking for an Ft. Walton Beach, FL compulsive gambling treatment program. Inpatient treatment for gambling disorder is very similar to inpatient treatment for substance use disorders in that an individualized treatment plan will be developed for the patient that will include treatments that address the mental, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual issues that have developed as a result of the gambling disorder. Should a patient also be experiencing a substance use disorder and/or a mental illness at the same time as the gambling disorder, inpatient compulsive gambling treatment in Ft. Walton, FL can address those needs simultaneously.
Gambling disorder, depending on the severity of it, can also be treated through intensive outpatient programs. This type of Ft. Walton, FL compulsive gambling treatment is a good fit for someone who is experiencing a mild to moderate level of gambling disorder and who can continue to maintain his or her daily life when outside of treatment. Within an intensive outpatient program, patients will spend 3-5 days per week at the facility and participate in a handful of hours of therapy each day. Therapies such as individual and group therapy can help the patient overcome the challenges he or she has been facing as a result of the gambling disorder.
Gamblers Anonymous, like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous, is a 12-Step based program that is offered throughout communities across the world. Individuals can attend meetings as frequently as they would like and when present, will follow a 12-Step approach to recovery. Being surrounded by others who struggle with gambling disorder can be extremely comforting, as well as educational and emotionally freeing. Many individuals who have gambling disorder but who have been treated will continue to go to Gamblers Anonymous meetings, as doing so can help them maintain their success thus far.
Call Our Ft. Walton, FL Compulsive Gambling Treatment Program Today!
If you are struggling with a gambling disorder, pick up the phone can make the call for help before it is too late. You do not need to live like this. There are options that can help you overcome your gambling disorder once and for all. To get the help you or someone you know deserves, reach out to our Ft. Walton, FL compulsive gambling treatment program today!