The transition from occasional, frequent and addictive gambling to a gambling addiction is fluid. The symptoms are often similar to those associated with substance-related addictions: exclusive thinking about gambling, addictive characteristics, such as loss of control (“cannot stop”), neglect of family, friends and hobbies, as well as procurement crime.
Diagnosis of gambling addiction:
- Are there basic psychiatric illnesses or secondary illnesses (anxiety, depression)?
- How is gambling behavior to be seen in family and work environments?
- What is the patients motivation?
- What resources does the patient have?
Treatment of gambling addiction:
Psychotherapeutically, the focus is on Movitational Interviewing and intensive cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as hypnosis, possibly in combination with ketamine infusions.
rTMS and tDCS reduce addiction pressure in gambling addiction, similar to substance addiction.
Neurofeedback and other relaxation methods are used for relaxation.
In certain cases, naltrexone can also be used as a depot injection to prevent relapse.
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