Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Gambling Addiction


The impact of problem gambling on your mental health is immense. While playing games of chance, such as gambling, you are taking a risk against “the house.” Luckily, there are ways to overcome this problem. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is one method used to help people overcome their addiction. But if you still find yourself losing sleep and ignoring work deadlines, you may have a gambling problem. To get started, take a look at some of the most common signs of gambling addiction.

Problem gambling affects your mental health

Gambling can be extremely harmful to your mental health. Studies have shown that problem gambling can damage your brain chemistry and alter cell structure. It may also interfere with the way your brain processes reward. Eventually, your baseline mood may go down, making you feel depressed and unable to function normally. Symptoms of depression can increase if you continue gambling without stopping, as well as if you lose money and are unable to stop yourself.

Taking an online test to determine if you are suffering from problem gambling may not provide a diagnosis. A clinical professional will conduct a detailed assessment and develop a treatment plan for you based on your individual needs. Treatment may include addressing various aspects of your life, including your family, financial, legal and professional situation. It is important to seek treatment as soon as you suspect you may be struggling with gambling addiction. Health providers can refer you to appropriate resources.

It is played against “the house”

In gambling, the “house” is the entity that gives you the odds of winning. That house can be a casino, a bookmaker, or even an owner of a slot machine. The house is always favored because it controls the odds and has the “edge” in the long, short, and medium runs. However, that does not mean that the house always loses; it can still make money for its investors.

It can be treated with cognitive-behavioural therapy

Behavioral addictions like gambling are often caused by cognitive distortions. Cognitive-behavioural therapy, or CBT, aims to modify fundamental thought patterns to make gambling less harmful. CBT identifies the cognitive errors and distortions associated with gambling, and teaches a client how to correct these errors. The process can take many forms, including teaching social skills and relapse prevention. It may also involve using mindfulness to help control the urge to gamble.

Psychologists have studied the effectiveness of self-help interventions in treating gambling. They’ve shown that cognitive-behavioural therapy can help reduce compulsive gambling and encourage healthy behaviors. Cognitive-behavioural therapy has a wide variety of methods, including self-guided activities and information workbooks. Many of these interventions are accompanied by planned support from the treatment provider. Nevertheless, most studies have relied on weak experimental designs, making causal attributions difficult.

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