Psychological Self-Help

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locations. Gam-Anon can be reached at 718-352-1671. The search
engines, such as Yahoo and Alta Vista, list some of the gambling
treatment programs available around the country. Few treatment
centers will serve gamblers who have lost their savings and health
insurance, and can't pay for the services. Gamblers in serious trouble
only have Gamblers Anonymous. 
Problem Gambling ( Also, some states
have comprehensive Web sites concerned with several types of
addiction, such as the Illinois site cited above and the Michigan
sources include Gambling Treatment
just one of about 10,000 treatment centers (see the search engines).
Hazelden ( offers several books about this
addiction, mostly testimonials, inspirational, or informational, not
many explicit self-help approaches. Indeed, the general view seems to
be that gambling addicts with serious problems must seek treatment,
not try to do self-help themselves. Walker’s (1996) book while
descriptive does not offer a lot about treatment and even less about
self-help methods. Of course, self-control is probably possible for most
people who are just starting into the losing phase. This entails just
staying away from gambling, i.e. cutting your losses, and avoiding, at
all costs, the temptation to “chase” your losses (trying to recoup your
losses by betting more). If that doesn’t work, get help. 
Hairpulling (trichotillomania) becomes a strong habit, often
resulting in bald spots. A recent study (Keuthen, O'Sullivan & Sprich-
Buckminster, 1998) has reviewed several approaches and found that
the treatment of choice, at this time, is habit reversal training
described above. See also Habit Reversal
treatments were less successful: Cognitive-behavioral, punishment,
and psychiatric drugs. 
Internet addiction
Internet addiction is a new affliction for human-kind. With
millions of people around the world, including 60 million Americans,
logging onto the Internet, there is bound to be some addiction. Like
workaholism, Internet “addiction” is not using the Internet for many
hours of work and pleasure. To be an addict, as I'm using the term,
the logging on has to cause problems, such as in the 5% to 8% who
become so “hooked” that they spend almost all their spare time online,
even going without sleep. Other Internet users (about 15% of total
Internet users and far more men than women) become attracted to
pornography online, some of them spend a lot of time and money
being a voyeur and avoiding real relationships. (Keep in mind that
about 80% of Internet users are married, committed, or dating
someone.) Still others, twice as many women as men, spend
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