Gambling addiction, is an impulse control disorder. It is also known as compulsive gambling. Compulsive gambling is the result of biological vulnerabilities, social stress and ways of thinking. There are many methods available for treating compulsive gambling like counseling, step based programs, self help, peer support, medication, or a combination of these. But no treatment is considered as the effective treatment and no medications have been approved for the treatment of pathological gambling by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Every gambler is unique and needs treatment tailored according to his mental health condition.
It is the one of the most commonly used method for treating gambling problems, it is a twelve step model and it is based on mutual support approach.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:
CBT focuses more on identification of gambling related thought processes, mood and cognitive distortions that increase the gamblers to do more gambling. CBT approaches frequently utilize skill building techniques and these methods have shown results in reducing symptoms and gambling related urges.
It is efficient in the treatment of pathological gambling and patients suffering from both pathological gambling and a comorbid bipolar spectrum condition, sustained release lithium has shown efficacy in a preliminary trial.
Almost 70 percent of the people addicted to gambling also have some or the other mental illness associated with it, so the treatment for gambling addiction should also address coexisting mental health condition.