Gambling problems are gambling-related behaviors that detract from a person’s ability to maintain mental equilibrium and participate functionally in society. Some affected individuals have problems severe enough to qualify them for diagnosis of an official condition called gambling disorder. However, doctors may sometimes miss the presence of dysfunctional gambling-related behaviors in teenagers. In a study published in October 2013 in the Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, a team of Australian researchers examined the usefulness of a screening questionnaire, called the Victorian Gambling Screen, in detecting teenagers’ gambling problems.
Twenty miles from the river on an east/west highway running through central Mississippi, there’s a billboard, one of those really big ones. This billboard is a party, a sparkling carnival, a live action vaudeville show. It’s so thrilling that passersby never fail to notice it, and some have been known to slow down just to stare. It’s not unusual that this billboard features a slim, attractive woman with her head thrown back, a look of wild abandon painted on her face as colored lights spin and blur and loom behind her. What is unusual is that this woman is probably 75 years old.
A specific area of the brain may be responsible for a gambler’s activities and decisions, and could help researchers understand why people make decisions in other areas of their lives. Full Story
When gambling has progressed from purely social to problem gambling and on to pathological or compulsive gambling, there’s only one thing certain: the individual has a gambling addiction and needs help in order to overcome it. Addiction to gambling is similar in many respects to any other type of addiction – to alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription drugs used for nonmedical purposes for multiple co-occurring addictions – the addict continues with the addictive behavior despite all the negative physical, psychological, social and financial consequences. At the extreme, he or she gets to a point where they cannot stop gambling, they need to gamble, and they will risk everything in order to continue gambling. This process occurs over and over again until the addicted gambler ends up in jail, insane, or dead.
But there is hope for the compulsive gambler. The process is called gambling intervention. Full Story