Gambling is, by definition, risking something in order to get something greater. Compulsive gambling is defined as the uncontrollable urge to continue to gamble despite the ill effects it has on your life. When the urge to gamble becomes uncontrollable and begins to have negative impacts on your life, it is known as compulsive gambling.
The symptoms of pathological gambling include getting a big thrill out of big risks, feeling remorse after playing, taking increasingly bigger risks, a preoccupation with gambling, taking time away from family or work for gambling, borrowing money to gamble, stealing to gamble, reliving past experiences, and failed experiences to cut back on the habit.
But compulsive gambling does not just affect your life. The lives of those around you are impacted as well. Your friends and family may be drawn into the circle of toxicity.
Abilify Linked to Compulsive Gambling
The prescription drug Abilify has recently been linked to compulsive gambling in patients. Abilify is an antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, Tourette syndrome, and other emotional and psychological conditions.
Researchers say a combination of biological, genetic, and environmental factors go into creating the problem gambler. Use of drugs like Abilify are also linked to the disorder.
What are Some of the Effects of Compulsive Gambling?
- Health Problems – Believe it or not, a turn at the roulette table or a day wagering on the ponies can impact your physical health. Anxiety, depression, and stress are all psychological problems that can result from a gambling habit. Poor sleep, ulcers, bowel problems, headaches and muscle pains are physical manifestations of the disease. When your health is suffering, those around you may suffer as well.
- Burnout – When one member of a family is letting the unit down, often another member will step up and do more. The second member may go the extra mile trying to cope with the dysfunction in the family. But at some point, this person will not be able to handle the extra load, potentially leading to burnout.
- Money Problems – One problem with gambling is that ‘the house always wins’. Translation: the gambler always loses in the long run. A compulsive gambler may lose a substantial amount of money. This leaves fewer resources for the family unit. Often, a compulsive gambler will borrow money from friends and extended family that he or she is unable to pay back. This strains relationships.
- Isolation – Gamblers often isolate themselves from friends and family, trying to hide their problems from the people who care about them. This can cause rifts in the relationships that matter most.
- Abuse – Physical and emotional abuse is more common among compulsive gamblers than among the general population. Spouses, elderly people, and children are at particular risk when the emotions of loss bubble over. If this is happening, the first order of business is to get help for the person at risk. Once the victim is safe, pursue treatment for the gambling addict.
There is Help for Compulsive Gambling
If you or a loved one is struggling with a gambling problem, you can call the National Helpline for Compulsive Gamblers at 1-800-522-4700. Psychotherapy can be useful for those who suffer from the addiction. Self-help groups such as Gamblers Anonymous have been successful for some people. Certain medications such as mood stabilizers and antidepressants have also been shown to help. Contact your family doctor or psychiatrist if this seems like an option for you.
The Goldwater Law Firm – Nationwide Drug Injury Attorneys
If you have taken Abilify and your gambling has become out of control, there is an ongoing lawsuit which addresses the issue and may help you recover some of what you have lost. Contact the Goldwater Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.