Can Compulsive Gamblers Be Treated?


One of the common forms of entertainment and relaxation at the present time is gambling. Due to the increasing number of people who are attracted to gambling activities, many casinos were developed in the different parts of the world. The addiction of many people to gambling events led other individuals to perceive gambling in a negative manner.

If people will just assess how gambling works, they will begin to realize that just like any other form of entertainment, it yields positive and negative effects. When gamblers are capable of controlling themselves from betting the money allotted for important things such as their family budget, it is possible that they will not be addicted to gambling. However, if they failed to control the urge to place bets despite the knowledge of losing all their resources, they might be victims of the mental condition known as compulsive gambling.

The mental condition can cause other problems such as debt, marital conflict and family disruption, if it is not treated. Patients suffering from compulsive gambling disorder exhibit symptoms including, physical and psychological stress, mental depression, and suicidal tendencies.

Because some of the money allotted for the immediate needs of the families of compulsive gamblers, they tend to be involved in other illegal acts like theft, identity fraud and drug trafficking. There are also gambling addicts whose job performance is affected due to the anxiety caused by their need to produce the money needed by their families. It is possible that this scenario can cause them to be frequently anxious.

In this regard, it is important that gambling addicts or patients suffering from compulsive gambling undergo counseling sessions headed by advisers and social workers to inspire them to combat their frequent urge to participate in gambling activities. As a support to the counseling sessions, gambling addicts are also recommended to enroll in step-based programs offered by several social groups such as the Gamblers Anonymous.

If the counseling sessions and step-based programs are not enough to help the patients recover from the disorder, psychiatrists prescribe them with drugs that can reduce their urge to gambler. Some of the efficient drugs include the SSRI paroxetine and the nalmefene.

Psychiatrists and social analysts believe that the attitudes, perceptions and motives of gamblers for engaging in gambling activities matters to determine whether a person is at risk to compulsive gambling. It is important that gamblers have a strong self-control to be able to save themselves from other problems caused by compulsive gambling such as financial troubles and domestic problems.

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