A-Z Teen Health Glossary

What Is Teen Gambling Addiction Disorder?


Teen Gambling Addiction Disorder is an addictive behavior in which a teen gambles compulsively, possibly including such things as lottery tickets, betting on sports games, playing poker, or casino-type gambling games.  The disorder stems from lack of impulse control.  People with Gambling Disorder are preoccupied with the idea of, or acts of, gambling to a degree where it negatively affects and disrupts their normal every day lives.


Teen Gambling Addiction Disorder Treatment | Paradigm Malibu


What It Looks Like


The constant preoccupation with gambling is something that affects multiple aspects of people’s lives such as relationships, school work, and other responsibilities.  This preoccupation may include:


  • Talking about gambling
  • Trying to find money with which to gamble
  • Making plans to gamble
  • Bragging about past gambling
  • Trying to find the next opportunity to gamble


The difference between people who may gamble somewhat regularly and people with Gambling Disorder is that those with the disorder will likely exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:


  • Trying to quit gambling multiple times and failing
  • Losing money and returning to try to win it back
  • Hiding or lying about gambling to family or friends
  • Risking family relationships, responsibilities, school work, and friendships, in order to continue gambling
  • An obsessive need for money to gamble


Even though there’s no specific known cause, there are a number of different factors that lead people to develop Gambling Disorder.  Sometimes, it’s a form of relief people seek, who are already experiencing other Mental Illness.  Other times, people get hooked on the risk and reward of the experience.  And sometimes, it can be a combination of different factors.


Teen Gambling Addiction Disorder Treatment


Talk Therapy


Teen Gambling Addiction Disorder Treatment begins with many techniques used to address any addictive behavior.  The first step, then, is for the person to admit that there’s a problem. This can be a struggle at first- especially for gambling.  Often times, the person simply sees it as an activity they enjoy, but don’t recognize the harm it’s causing to their own lives, or to the lives of others around them.


Once a person admits to there being a problem, the next steps are to identify which problems the gambling has caused. Then, therapists work with teens during teen gambling addiction disorder treatment to do the following:


  • Stop the unhealthy behaviors
  • Identify other healthy habits or practices to engage in
  • Identify necessary efforts they need to make toward areas of destruction
  • Re-establish a sense of confidence and self-worth, independent of gambling




Sometimes medication can be helpful for teen gambling addiction disorder treatment, especially those who are diagnosed with, or showing symptoms for, other mental disorders, such as anxiety or depression.




Can I be cured from Gambling Disorder?


While there’s not necessarily a specific “cure” that will eliminate your desire to gamble, good treatment will help empower you not to gamble, despite wanting to do so.  With any addiction disorder, the desire to perform the given act can be extremely strong, but there are absolutely ways for your self-control to become even stronger.  You may not completely lose the urge, but you’ll no longer follow it.  And in that sense, you’ll be free.

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