Gambling addiction, also known as compulsive gambling, is characterized by an uncontrollable desire to engage in gambling and can destroy one’s life. Approximately 2.4% of adults in America meet the criteria for gambling disorder. Individuals may spend excessive amounts of time and money on gambling and are consumed by thoughts and images related to gambling. Lying, manipulation, stealing, and avoidance are common behaviors in those with a gambling addiction.
Individuals with a gambling addiction typically fall into two categories: action seekers and escape seekers. Action seekers, often men, are attracted to the high stakes and risk of gambling. In contrast, escape seekers, often women, are drawn to zoning out on games in the hopes of getting a big win. Fortunately, gambling addiction treatment is available and effective.
Gambling Addiction Causes
Struggling with compulsive gambling can feel overwhelming and treatment may seem impossible. However, Dr. Mazzei believes that recovery is possible with the appropriate treatment. Gambling addiction is a complex disorder resulting from an interaction between an individual’s mind and body, as well as environmental influences. Individuals may have a genetic predisposition for impulsivity and reward-seeking, which can precipitate gambling addiction. Additionally, gambling addiction is considered a brain disease. Disruption to normal brain physiology related to motivation, learning, and behavior can significantly impact a person with gambling problems. In essence, individuals use gambling to change their brain chemistry.
Lastly, our social environment and especially conflict within our personal relationships have a significant influence over our lives, and gambling may offer a way to cope with problems associated with both. Understanding and identifying the triggers of gambling addiction are an important part of treatment. Other mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression commonly co-occur with gambling addiction and must be addressed to successfully treat gambling addiction. Taking a comprehensive approach to address all aspects of this disease will offer you the best chance for treatment success.
Gambling Addiction Treatment
Engaging in gambling counseling with an addiction therapist has been shown to be an effective treatment. The goal of counseling is to help you identify the causes of your gambling addiction, develop the skills necessary to cope with addiction and any other mental health issues, and foster positive life changes. Receiving therapy from a gambling addiction specialist offers you the opportunity to make positive and lasting changes. Dr. Mazzei relies on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), biofeedback, and hypnosis, which are evidence-based treatments for addiction. In particular, CBT is considered the treatment of choice for compulsive gambling. These therapies involve effectively changing your emotions, thinking, and behaving so that you can successfully overcome your struggles and facilitate personal growth.
Dr. Mazzei will work collaboratively with you to develop a customized treatment plan and implement effective strategies to help you recover from compulsive gambling. She will also incorporate lifestyle guidance, so you not only overcome your gambling addiction but can also go on to lead a healthy life. Working together, Dr. Mazzei and you will develop personalized strategies for ending your gambling addiction and identify the solutions you need for a better life.
How We Can Help
If you are suffering from a gambling disorder, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how Dr. Mazzei can help you, follow these simple steps:
- Text today at (480) 448-6755 or e-mail us for a free consultation
- Or, you can book directly online with Dr. Mazzei
- Begin your journey towards a fulfilling and healthier life
Dr. Mazzei offers both in-person and online gambling treatment for residents of Arizona, Illinois, and Nevada. Her private practice is located at 3377 S. Price Rd., Suite 2104, Chandler, AZ.