Anxiety can fuel a gambling
problem. A book offers advice.
Gambling and anxiety often go hand in hand. The 2001–2002 National
Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, as well as
other research, suggests that among people with the most severe
type of gambling problems — what mental health professionals label
pathological gambling — more than 11% are dealing with a
generalized anxiety disorder, almost 15% are suffering from
post-traumatic stress disorder, nearly 22% are dealing with a panic
disorder, and 52% are struggling with a specific phobia.
Many people gamble as a way of managing anxiety. As they gamble,
people often report being separated from their anxious feelings or
projecting their feelings of anxiety onto the excitement they feel
when they partake in their gambling activity of choice. As a
result, gambling can work its way into the fabric of their everyday
life, and the impulse to gamble can overwhelm the rest of their
Thus, for many gamblers, reducing anxiety is a prerequisite to
making any changes in gambling behavior. Fortunately, there are
several techniques that can make a tremendous difference in
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