Psychiatrist Questions Psychiatrist

What is the best treatment for gambling disorder?

I have a gambling disorder. What is the best treatment for gambling disorder?

3 Answers

The most commonly used and generally effective treatment for addictive behaviour is a 12-step program and supportive psychotherapy. However, before embarking on a treatment approach I would recommend obtaining an accurate diagnosis from a psychologist or psychiatrist to be certain that any additional or contributory disorders are addressed.
Comprehensive treatment approach is required focusing primarily on behavioral interventions. As with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), there are groups for those with gambling problems. Practical steps may need to be taken to not allow someone with gambling issues to have access to credit cards or debit cards. The amount allocated to them may need to be properly apportioned. In some cases, it might even be necessary to ensure that monthly bills are paid automatically before the person receives his/her paycheck. There are also resources to list someone with a gambling disorder with casinos so that they are not allowed to "play" there. Finally, in some instances, a serotonin antidepressant may be helpful in curbing compulsive behaviors, but these work best in the context of a comprehensive approach.
I generally think that support groups like Gamblers Anonymous work really well. Gambling is treated as an addiction like any other in the AA model. *Carol R. Zeits, Ph.D.*