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The aim of Web4Health is to give good and useful free medical advice, help and self help in the areas of mental health, psychology, personality disorders, relationships, stress, anxiety, depression, emotional abuse, substance abuse, sexual abuse, types of mental illness, etc.

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Compulsive Gambling Self Help

Written by: Author: Anton Åhrén, psychology student, Umeå university, under supervision of Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist, certified psychotherapist, teacher in psychotherapy.

First version: 22 Jul 2008. Latest revision: 22 Jul 2008.

Question:

 Is there any book about self-help for compulsive gambling?

Answer:

Gambling addiction Handbook

Gambling addiction Handbook is mainly directed at compulsive gamblers who want to get rid of this addiction. The book is also of interest to anyone who wants to learn more about gambling addiction. The book is based on addiction to gambling machines, but the techniques described in the book are applicable to all kinds of gambling addiction. Part I defines gambling addiction based on DSM-IV with the latest additions. It then describes what is known and not yet understood about compulsive gambling.

What gets gamblers to start gambling and continue gambling?

An interesting question often discussed is if there are any predisposing factors for developing a gambling addiction. The book also discusses effects of compulsive gambling on the individual, the family and the society. Part II discusses a number of hypotheses on why people start gambling and what gets them to continue gambling. Examples are the dream about the big stake, the wish to become economically independent. Winning money is, however, not the only reason why people gamble. Another cause, which is not directly monetary, is that gambling has a soothing effect; it is a way to suppress anxiety.

Self help manual

Part III is a self-help manual for the treatment of compulsive gambling. The first steps in the self-help manual are to map one's strengths and weaknesses and to set up goals for the treatment. Well specified goals will increase the likelihood of success. It is also important to get a distinct picture of what factors cause gambling. The gambler gets a clear picture of which situations are especially "dangerous". The hypotheses introduced in chapter II are then used to find out which of them apply to you, since these factors differ from person to person. The self-help must be based on understanding the causes of compulsive gambling for each particular person.

In order to succeed with breaking a gambling addiction, external support is important. This external support can come from organizations like "anonymous gamblers", family members, or a psychologist/psychotherapist. Sometimes all three are needed to get rid of a gambling addiction.

There is a link to the home page for the book in the external link list below.

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