Gambling addiction is a term applied to excessive pleasure-seeking behavior while performing the act of any form of gambling. The roots of gambling addiction can be traced to an individual's wish to win the game and avoid any emotional torment. Gambling addiction may be called a “hidden illness” because there are no visible physical signs but may affect the major area of an individual’s psychological and social life (Eadington, 2002). Compulsive gambling is considered a mental health disorder. The impulse to do the act of gambling is a common phenomenon for both men and women.
For the reason that many gamblers consider gambling as their scapegoat from pain and misery, this behavior leads to many cases of gambling-related suicide, addiction and alcoholism. A more disturbing picture of individuals suffering from gambling addiction is when their families, jobs, finances and self-worth are affected negatively. It is like living in their own personal hell that even the one affected doesn’t understand either. The video “Problem Gambling” by Dr. Nancy Petry asserts that gambling problems can be eliminated little by little.
This video serves as an inspiration for both gamblers and their families as they defeat this problem that can destroy not only the personal identity of the person but the whole society as well. This video is indeed a great aid for people who are hooked to gambling but were not aware on how to totally get rid of it. The video is fukll of juicy information on how cognitive-behavioral approach can be use to treat gambling clients. The said therapy includes the traditional discussion with handouts that contains step by step guidelines towards full recovery.
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In addition to this the video also contains motivational and inspirational messages from Dr. Petry that emphasizes the self awareness of the gambler for him/her to strive towards change in lifestyle. According to the video, the overwhelming feeling of shame, failure and hopelessness related to gambling addiction seems difficult to bear. One example of gambling is pathological gambling which is considered to be a psychiatric disorder that passes half of the ten criteria cited by Dr. Petry. These criteria includes lying, making higher bets, mind preoccupied by gambling, alcoholism and committing suicide due to failure.
An individual afflicted with pathological gambling may think that the best solution is to commit suicide. There are instances where problems related to gambling addiction may not be detected as the reason for committing suicide due to non-existence of suicide notes or people do not have knowledge of a suicide victim's pathological gambling. Some families may withhold pertinent information in relation to the suicide victim’s gambling-related reason to avoid shame and guilt. The story of Brian in the video can be seen as one good example of this.
He is the clear manifestation of a young gambler that can be saved before the scenario gets worst. I was able to relate to the story of Brian because I am also a young and carefree person who is curious on doing activities I have not encountered. Upon watching the video I was enlightened by the fact that gambling can make or break my personality if I will not choose the right decision. Good thing Dr. petry clearly indicated in the video that there are cognitive- behavioral given put to gamblers who are willing to change for the better.
Gambling addiction has three phases of progressive cycle such as winning phase, losing phase and the desperation phase (Volberg, 2000, pp. 17-27). The pattern of gambling addictive behavior is a progressive and downward cycle that may lead to depression and other worst cases (Volberg, 2000, pp. 17-27). The winning phase is the time that gamblers experience a series of wins and became optimistic that the streak will continue (Volberg, 2000, pp. 17-27). The feeling of great excitement will lead the gambler to increase the amount of his bets.
The losing phase is the period that a gambler experiences losses and the time that he will reminisce his past wins and will start gambling alone, think more on gambling and start borrowing money even with high interest to continue his gambling (Volberg, 2000, pp. 17-27). The impact of gambling addiction to individuals and society will place a hardship on economy due to employment loss, unemployment, bankruptcy and debts, forced home sales, embezzlement, forgery, fraud, crime, arrest, poor physical and mental condition and consequently suicide.
The video also connotes that gambling problems produces other physical and psychological defects. The families of addictive gamblers greatly suffer from physical and psychological abuse, verbal harassment from creditors and bill collectors, intense stress from neglect and divorce and financial burden (Volberg, H. 2000). Children suffer most from the negative effects especially if their parents are addicted to gambling. The video also relates gambling to other medical conditions.
Petry together with her team found out that gambling can lead to one’s downfall when it comes to physical aspects. There are higher risks of hypertension, liver problems and cirrhosis for gamblers. The video hypothetically discusses this one by one. The exposure to other gamblers who smoke eve if you are a non smoker will also lead you to accumulating lung diseases. The video also suggest that professionals of the health and medical field often missed to ask patients who have health problems if they have gambling history.
The eight session discussed in the video gave viewers sufficient information to comprehend on the different approach towards treatment of gamblers. There were two kinds of motivation given where gamblers can either choose to be internally or externally be motivated and assessed in terms of their gambling behavior. There are propositions given as to whether the gambler opts to undergo psychological or physiological therapy. My educational experience was widened by this video since I am now more aware of the consequence of my action.
Gambling may not be considered as a crime but it would be better to avoid it that being totally hooked and be messed up for life.
Eadington, W. (2002). Gambling Studies. Journal for the Study of Interpersonal Processes, University of Nevada, 44-49. Petry, N. M. (n. d. ). Problem Gambling. American Psychological Association. Volberg, H. (2000). Leisure Behavior on the Edge: Controlled and uncontrolled gambling practices. National
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