Compulsive gambling is an impulse-control disorder
A gambling addiction can lead to serious problems at home and work, and can cause people to find themselves doing the unthinkable in order to get their fix. Once someone has fallen into the trap, it may seem impossible to get out. However, a person with a gambling addiction can get the help needed to regain control of his life. Acknowledgement of the problem is the first step. Compulsive gambling is an impulse-control disorder, according to HelpGuide.org. The gambler is incapable of controlling the impulse to gamble, and will gamble under any and all circumstances. Problem gambling occurs when the gambler has control over the situation but chooses to gamble anyway, regardless of the consequences. When the urge to gamble strikes, the gambler should call a friend or family member for support, find another distraction such as going to a movie, or just wait for a while until the urge is gone. Gamblers Anonymous is a free 12-step program designed to help the gambler with his addiction. A few of the elements of GA are the use of sponsors, group support and following a set of principles. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, a problem gambler retrains the brain to deal with the behaviors and thoughts experienced when the urge to bet occurs. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is for the gambler who has not yet lost control, and who wants to make lifetime changes. Ongoing support and self-awareness will help the gambler to stay on track and not slip back into the habit of betting. The avoidance of places of gambling is very important to the success of the recovering gambler.