Gambling addiction is a chronic disease with several harmful psychological, physical, and societal consequences. It’s classified as an impulsive behaviour disorder. Problem gambling is hazardous to one’s mental and physical well-being. Depression, migraines, anguish, digestive difficulties, and other anxiety-related problems may occur in people who suffer from this addiction.

Gambling’s repercussions, like those of other addictions, can lead to emotions of hopelessness and powerlessness. This can lead to suicide attempts in some situations. Treatment for compulsive gambling might be difficult. This is large because most people are reluctant to confess they have a problem. However, recognising that you’re a compulsive gambler is an important part of recovery.

You may find yourself avoiding treatment if your family or employer put pressure on you to go to therapy. Treatment for a gambling issue, on the other hand, can help you reclaim control of your life – and possibly even restore damaged relationships or finances.

Mayo Clinic suggests the following ways for treating compulsive gambling:

• Therapy.

Behaviour treatment or cognitive behavioural therapy may help. Behaviour therapy teaches you techniques to control your gambling urges by exposing you to the behaviour you wish to unlearn methodically. The goal of cognitive behavioural therapy is to uncover and replace harmful, illogical, and negative ideas with healthy, good ones. Family counselling may also be beneficial.

• Medications.

Antidepressants and mood stabilisers may help with depression, OCD, and ADHD, which are common side effects of compulsive gambling. Some antidepressants have been shown to help people stop gambling. Medications known as narcotic antagonists, which are commonly used to treat substance misuse, may also be used to treat compulsive gambling.

• Self-help organisations.

Talking with others who have a gambling issue can be a beneficial aspect of treatment for some people. Inquire with your health care provider about self-help groups like Gamblers Anonymous and other services.

Depending on your requirements and resources, treatment for compulsive gambling may include an outpatient programme, an inpatient programme, or a residential treatment programme. Treatment for substance abuse, depression, anxiety, or any other mental health problem could be included in your compulsive gambling treatment plan.

Even if you receive therapy, you may relapse to gambling, particularly if you spend time with gamblers or are exposed to gaming surroundings. To avoid a relapse, call your mental health professional or sponsor right away if you think you’ll start gambling again.

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