It At times, gambling can be so exciting and fun because of the accompanying thrill in the game. Basically, most people consider occasional gambling as something fair. They would think that when it is seldom done, it wouldnt be that bad at all. But for those who possess conventional approach towards the subject matter, repeated or compounded engagement to the so called occasional gambling could lead to self-destruction eventually. Hence, the possibility of such individual in becoming a problem gambler is more likely.
Given the multi-faceted aspects of gambling, when does it become pathological? And if theres someone whos actually suffering from such condition that could be your friend, loved one, or family member; how can he be helped?
Problem gambling is characterized by various behavioural and psychological attributes that are in deviation with common or usual human responses. There are several ways in order to help a friend or an individual overcome problem gambling and restore previous interpersonal and social functions. Essentially, these involve therapeutic modalities that are related to substance-abuse management. One of these methodologies is motivational interviewing. It is a method that utilizes empathy, attentive listening, and open-ended queries that will elicit responses from the individual and enable him to verbalize his feelings. Another option would be psychodynamic therapy.
This modality involves the establishment of trusting therapist-patient relationship.
The therapist helps out the individual explore past life events or address underlying conditions that could have triggered or aggravated compulsion leading to problem gambling. Apart from all these, a problem gambler can also be referred to specific support groups that could assist him through phases of recovery. These support groups are important as adjunct or supplemental sources of motivation in order to do away from previous gambling deeds. These groups are comprised of individuals who have both recovered from or currently undergoing problem gambling from whom any problem gambler can relate with and draw strength from. In addition to the previously mentioned modalities, behavioural and cognitive management are employed in order to relearn socially acceptable behaviours, return to pre-gambling states, and eliminate triggering and aggravating factors. All of these methodologies, however, are always administered in combination among other therapies for increased efficacy.
The conflict with pathologic or problem gambling, according to research, involves compulsion in the part of the problem gambler. Given the interplay among biological, neurochemical, and psychosocial dynamics, the exhibition of a set of behaviours indicative of uncontrolled compulsion, which is brought upon by underlying circumstances, is more likely expected. As games associated to gambling become acceptable both in law and society, chances are more people will be drawn to them. On the other hand, while the act of gambling could have been prevented through avoidance or prevention, still, the individual suffering from such condition should not be judged and discriminated.