Although compulsive gambling is more common in men, women can become addicted to gambling more easily. Although men and women have different types of gambling, the gambling patterns are becoming increasingly similar. Factors that increase the risk of gambling include family or friend influence, certain medications, restless legs syndrome and Parkinson’s disease. Personality traits may also increase the risk of compulsive behavior. Understanding the odds and understanding the likelihood of winning are important aspects of responsible gambling.
Responsible gambling involves understanding the odds
While many people do indulge in the occasional game of chance, the most responsible gambling practices involve understanding the odds and when to quit. Most people gamble at some point in their lives. By understanding the odds, players can ensure that they will not be harmed by the games. If you do not feel like gambling, consider taking a short break and self-excluding. This way, you can take advantage of opportunities without putting yourself in harm’s way.
While there are many benefits of responsible gambling, it is important to follow certain guidelines. First, limit the amount of money you can spend on gaming. Only gamble with discretionary money, such as a $50 birthday gift. Do not gamble with money meant to pay your car, such as a mortgage or car payment. Also, monitor your real-money deposits into betting accounts. Set self-limits, but do not let yourself go over them.
Identifying compulsive gambling
There are many ways to identify compulsive gambling in yourself or someone you know. Gambling addiction tends to run in families and is much more common among men than women. Men are more likely to develop this disorder in their youth, while women typically start gambling in their late 20s and can become addicted very quickly. In addition to gender, gambling patterns are more similar in men and women. Personality traits such as workaholic, impulsive, and competitive are also linked to this disorder.
Identifying compulsive gambling may require a thorough physical and mental health examination. If you suspect that you or someone you know is having a problem with compulsive gambling, seek medical attention. In addition to a psychiatric examination, your doctor may recommend a behavioral therapy or substance abuse treatment. Some medications may affect gambling addiction, so your primary care doctor will ask you to tell them about your gambling habits. Also, your doctor may want to speak with your family members to help identify any other health problems.
Dealing with a loved one with a gambling addiction
As a family member, you need to know the warning signs of a gambling addiction in a loved one. These include the negative consequences of gambling and the need for treatment. If you suspect that a loved one is suffering from an addiction, consider holding an intervention. An intervention is a gentle confrontation between you and your loved one in which you communicate the negative effects of gambling and lay out concrete examples of what needs to change. Interventions are best conducted with the help of a licensed interventionist. If you plan to perform an intervention, you should be prepared for strong emotions and a reversal of the addiction.
Although gambling is a popular pastime, many people don’t recognize the warning signs of an addiction. They mistakenly believe that it is a bad habit or a harmless pastime. Often, a loved one’s gambling addiction is a result of stress and a compulsion to gamble. The addiction can lead to many other problems, including loss of income and relationships.