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Pathological gambling is a situation in which a person is unable to resist the impulse to gamble and this leads to harmful consequences on the personal and social front of an individual. Pathological gambling is repetitive in nature, and a person cannot stop gambling by any means. The person would try to get money anyhow to gamble and he would feel uncomfortable or irritated at the idea of quitting gambling.
In order to control pathological gambling, it is advised that a person should quit gambling totally. Here are some measures which you can follow to control pathological gambling.
- Rehabilitation Programs: Both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs can curb pathological gambling in a person. The program of a treatment center, if followed by heart, can cure the gambling problem. Moreover, by staying at a rehab for a period of time, a person will also stay away from gambling and will not get a chance to do so. Outpatient rehabilitation programs like group sessions and classes or one-on-one therapy sessions can also prevent gambling addicts from gambling without staying away from home.
- Twelve-step Program: The twelve step program by Gamblers Anonymous or GA may help a person overcome pathological gambling. For people who cannot afford long term rehabilitation programs, the twelve steps are ideal. Based on the same principles of the Alcoholics Anonymous, this program helps you to build a support group comprising of other recovering or recovered gambling addicts. Meetings are held every day, and you must attend these meetings to get help and encouragement.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: Other than group therapies and support groups, psychotherapy also helps in dealing with pathological gambling problems. A one-on-one session with a therapist is very essential as gambling addiction arises from deep emotional issues. Clearing these issues would benefit the affected person. Treating the underlying issues may stop pathological gambling. Opening up to a therapist may be effective.
- Medication: In certain cases, medication is required to help get over pathological gambling. Gambling addiction may result on account of other underlying mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder. Treating the underlying causes with proper medication will cure the pathological gambling problem. Your impulse must be taken under control.
- Changes in lifestyle: Pathological gambling causes extreme loss of a person’s financial condition. A recovering pathological gambler must hand over all his financial responsibilities to a trusted family member or friend. Places such as casinos or gambling events should be avoided to restrict relapse.
Pathological gambling is a severe situation, which can cause great loss and harm to a person from many perspectives. One must take all necessary measures required to bring pathological gambling under control.