Gambling – Symptoms and Treatment For Gambling Addiction


Gambling can cause many problems. This article will discuss some of the common symptoms and treatment options for problem gamblers. There are also ways to recognize if you or a loved one is suffering from gambling addiction. Identifying the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction is crucial for a gambler’s recovery. Then, you can start seeking help immediately.

Problem gamblers

Problem gambling affects anyone and has serious consequences for the gambler, their family, and their community. Problem gamblers have an increased risk of financial stress, and they may fail to meet their commitments and responsibilities at work and in the community. It can lead to poor health and strained relationships, and it can even lead to family violence.

Problem gamblers need support in stopping their behavior. Family members can encourage them to seek treatment and support them in their efforts. It is also important to support them if they express concerns about suicide. Often, they are ashamed of their behavior and may feel guilty about it. However, they should not feel ashamed, and they can seek help for themselves.

In July 2002, the Illinois Gaming Board launched the Statewide Casino Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program for Problem Gamblers, which allows problem gamblers to self-exclude from Illinois casinos. The Illinois Gaming Board has also recently passed the Sports Wagering Act, which mandates that the Board self-exclusion program be incorporated into sports wagering. Under the new law, individuals on the self-exclusion list are not allowed to place a bet.


A person with a gambling problem often feels preoccupied with the act of gambling and returns to it in times of distress or anxiety. They may lie about how much they gamble or become dependent on others to support their habit. The disease can begin in childhood or later in life. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.

There are effective treatments for gambling disorders. The first step is to identify the problem. Many people are only aware that they have a problem when they reach a very low point. Even after treatment, a person with a gambling problem may return to the problem. This is especially true if the person spends time with others who gamble or is surrounded by gambling environments.

Currently, the DSM-IV lists 10 criteria for pathological gambling. However, statistical analyses have revealed that the current cut-off score may be inadequate. The Workgroup suggests that four symptoms may be sufficient for a pathological gambling diagnosis. It has also looked at several studies that have shown that a person with a gambling disorder should not have to experience all 10 symptoms.


Treatment for gambling addiction can include a variety of methods. For example, self-help programs and peer support groups can help people overcome their addiction. Groups such as Gamblers Anonymous offer support for both sufferers and family members. Medication and psychotherapy may also be helpful. Psychotherapy focuses on changing the way a person thinks and helps the person deal with their cravings.

While therapy can address specific psychological problems, it may not solve the root causes of the problem. During therapy, the therapist will examine why an individual engages in gambling and help them develop new behaviors. These may include substituting activities for gambling, as well as working with their social triggers. For example, learning to manage boredom and social responsibilities may help an addict overcome their gambling habits.

Individuals who suffer from severe gambling disorders may need to be hospitalized. Inpatient rehabilitation programs last for 30 to 90 days, and can be shorter than outpatient rehab. During this time, patients are removed from temptations. They also receive individual and group counseling. Family counseling is also often offered. Some programs also include medication management.