Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction is a fairly new yet rapidly increasing problem in our society today. Part of the reason for this can be attributed to the recent popularity of poker, especially among young men and teenagers. We frequently see poker tournaments broadcasted on television and in movies, often showing individuals winning large sums of money as well as featuring heavy editing to make the shows more exciting. Pathological and addictive gambling is characterized by patterns of behavior that disrupt the familial, personal, or day-to-day life functioning of the individual engaging in any or all forms of gambling. Gambling addiction has been found to be the most prevalent in people with mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and people already dealing with co-occurring drug or alcohol abuse disorders. Bipolar disorder is characterized by rapid swings in mood from mania to depression, and often when individuals are experiencing the period of mania they engage in excessive gambling. However, this can aggressively worsen and increase the depression phase of disorder due to the guilt and shame of losing excessive amounts of money. At Passages Malibu, we treat many clients who are dealing with a gambling addiction in addition to their substance abuse addictions, and have many professionals on hand who have a wealth of experience dealing with these compounded disorders.