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- Patient Comments: Gambling Disorders - Causes and Risks
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- Gambling addiction facts
- What is a gambling addiction?
- What are causes and risk factors for gambling addiction?
- What are symptoms and signs of a gambling addiction?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose a gambling addiction? What specialists diagnose and treat this illness?
- What is the treatment for gambling addiction?
- What is the prognosis for gambling addiction?
- What are complications and negative effects of gambling addiction?
- Is it possible to prevent gambling addiction?
- Where can people get support for gambling addiction?
- Where can people find more information about how to overcome gambling addiction?
What is the prognosis for gambling addiction?
With treatment, the prognosis of compulsive gambling can be quite encouraging. More than two-thirds of people with this disorder tend to abstain from problem gambling a year after receiving six weeks of treatment. After treatment has ended, less than one-fifth of those who receive follow-up for relapse prevention tend to relapse into gambling addiction behavior after one year compared to half of those who do not receive follow-up.
What are complications and negative effects of gambling addiction?
Although as many as one-third of individuals who suffer from pathological gambling may recover from the disease without receiving any treatment, the potential devastation that compulsive gambling can wreak on the life of the suffer and those around him or her clearly indicate that the potential positive aspects outweigh the possible complications that result from an intervention. As much as $5 billion is spent on gambling in the United States every year, with people who are addicted to gambling accruing tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Harmful effects that compulsive gambling can have on the individual include financial problems ranging from high debt, bankruptcy or poverty, to legal problems resulting from theft to prostitution, to wanting, attempting, or completing suicide. Many compulsive gambling sufferers experience stress-associated medical problems like insomnia, stomach ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems, headaches, and muscle aches. Gambling addiction can have a multitude of negative effects on the family. Statistics indicate that families of people with compulsive gambling are more likely to experience domestic violence and child abuse. Children of problem gamblers are at significantly higher risk of suffering from depression, behavior problems, and substance abuse. One of the challenges of treatment of compulsive gambling is that as many as two-thirds of people who begin treatment for this disorder discontinue treatment prematurely, whether treatment involves medication, therapy, or both.