In recognition of Problem Gambling Awareness Month in March, GoodTherapy.org will be hosting a live Twitter discussion about gambling addiction, therapy for problem gambling, and reducing stigma around the issue. Please join us on March 4, 2015 at 11 a.m. Pacific by using the hashtag #ProblemGambling. This chat is open to all, including mental health professionals and the general public.
Problem gambling can take many forms, and can become a dangerous, unhealthy habit in any of its forms. Some people develop an addiction to card games, such as poker or blackjack. Others might be hooked on event betting, like horse racing and sporting events. Still others may prefer slot machines or online games with a gambling aspect. As innocent as some of these modes may seem, any of them has the power to capture one’s attention in a damaging way.
Like many other addictions, gambling addiction has the potential to wreak havoc on one’s life and finances. Gambling in general can be extremely costly; when it becomes a habit or problem, it can create mountains of debt leading to bankruptcy or extreme poverty. Aside from financial devastation, problem gambling could lead to family troubles and damaged relationships. Co-occurring mental health issues could also arise in conjunction with, or as a result of, problem gambling. Issues like depression and anxiety commonly coexist with addictions, and those who experience problem gambling may also have poor physical health as a result of the stress of their addiction.
While various types of gambling are illegal in many states, gambling is still viewed as a harmless, fun activity for most people. And it certainly can be done responsibly, in moderation—which is why one of the goals of GoodTherapy.org’s upcoming Twitter chat on the subject is to educate the general public about how to practice responsible gambling. We will also talk about the stigma related to gambling addiction and the various treatment options, including therapy, that exist for help with problem gambling.
See you on Twitter on March 4 for our #ProblemGambling discussion!
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