Doctor insights on:
How Do I Help My Father With A Gambling Addiction
Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. A person affected by addiction will be unable to consistently Abstain from use, will have Impaired Behavioral control, will have Craving or increased "hunger" for drugs or rewarding experiences, will have a Dysfunctional Emotional response, and will show diminished recognition of significant problems with their own ...Read more
Cant stop gambling: Gambling addiction like all other addictions has the "cant stop despite the behavior causing problems in the person's social, physical, emotional, financial, or relational life" issue. Gambling addicts tend to develop tolerence, so they will make bigger bets. Some of them have a history of a "big win" which only encourages more risk taking and heavier betting. Gambling trumps all other interests. ...Read more
Yes: If by "real addiction" you mean "very hard to stop" and "can actually get physical symptoms when you try to stop", then indeed it is. The physical symptoms are milder but the craving is as real, and the risk of suicide is far greater. Don't look down on a compulsive gambler as weak; it's a strange combination of brain chemicals, and may respond to medication and/or wise talk. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
I'm glad you asked: There are a variety of cognitive and medication-based treatments. Of all the addictions, this is the one most likely to lead to suicide. Think of those who you love, and who love you. You are CERTAIN to lose this if the behavior continues. Let this give you the strength to go along with treatment. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
CBT + 12-step perhap: I'd try an experienced cbt therapist who knows enough about gambling addiction and perhaps look for a good match with a 12-step group. Each is a bit different, so you might make a few trial visits to see if one fits for you. Good luck with this. Interesting, i just realized that like some gambling - it may be a mix of skill and luck - cool? ...Read more
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