Online Sports Gambling and Gambling Disorders

Online Gambling...

Online Sports Gambling and Gambling Disorders

Gambling has become a huge pleasure in our time, and what used to exist only in casinos can now also exist on every phone or computer. During the pandemic, as casinos and racetracks closed down, those who enjoyed the prospect of gambling could easily find a gambling website and wager their bets on any prize they wanted. Sports, in particular, has become a highlight for gambling addictions over the last decade, where fans can bet on teams, individual athletes, and game sessions to understand their odds and see what you can win in terms of financial gains. However, the rise of this type of gambling has also led to an increase in gambling disorders.

The Repeating Problem of Online Gambling

Gambling disorder is a type of behavior that’s involves repeated gambling to the point where it interferes with the individual’s life, their families, and how they interact with society at large. Those with a gambling disorder have trouble controlling their impulse to gamble and will continue to do so even if the activity presents significant problems in their current life.

People with gambling addictions often gamble when they feel stressed, feel restless or irritable when they cut down on gambling, and often compulsively lie and hide their gambling activities to achieve their desired excitement. Often with this type of addiction can cause risks to careers, relationships, and other opportunities. Gambling disorders tend to also run in families affected by trauma and social inequality, and with the prevalence of this type of disorder, many people with a gambling disorder tend to avoid treatment.

However, when it comes to the perception of how we perceive gambling, most people often think about casinos and race tracks as the primary sources of these addictions. In truth, legal gambling has now expanded into our digital devices and has become an intricate part of American sports. Sports gambling, in particular, is now firmly part of the sport’s dynamic, and with sports now becoming more of economic activity, it created a combination of sports and play that’s essentially a symptom of larger psychological problems within our society as a whole.

Receiving Help For Your Gambling Addiction

For right now, there are no FDA-approved medications that can treat gambling disorders, but there are multiple avenues for treatment that can help curb the need to gamble and help bring balance back into your life. Some treatments that can help with this addiction include:

  • Mental Health Counseling: Cognitive behavioral therapy, group counseling, and family counseling can help provide different methods to address your relationship with gambling and find new ways to solve problems.
  • Invest in New Hobbies: Investing in new hobbies to help curb gambling impulses can be a critical part of recovery and help handle other emotions such as stress.
  • Anxiety/Depression Medications: Some medications can help indirectly treat gambling by addressing other conditions such as anxiety and depression.
  • Gambling Helplines: In peer support scenarios, gambling hotlines can offer assistance in handling urges and finding solutions.

It’s also important to know that problem gamblers are at increased risk of suicide. For immediate attention, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

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April is the founder of Prestige Mental Health and is a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC) who is qualified to practice primary care and psychiatry. She is passionate about providing quality, compassionate, and comprehensive mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults. April specializes in psychiatric illnesses including but not limited to depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, PTSD/trauma, bipolar, and schizophrenia.