How to Overcome a Gambling Addiction

Gambling involves risking something of value, such as money or material goods, on an event with an uncertain outcome. The event may be a game of chance, such as a roll of a dice or spin of a roulette wheel, or it may be an activity that requires skill, such as playing a card game. Gambling is a worldwide industry with distinct legal regulations.

People who are addicted to gambling can experience significant emotional distress and even thoughts of suicide. They often have difficulty maintaining relationships and work performance suffers. In addition, they are more likely to spend time and energy on gambling instead of on family or friends. This can lead to feelings of resentment and anger.

The first step to overcoming a gambling addiction is admitting that you have a problem. You can find help and support from a trained professional, such as a therapist. Treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on replacing unhealthy and irrational beliefs with healthy, positive ones. Medications such as mood stabilizers and antidepressants may also be helpful.

A person with a gambling problem can benefit from joining a peer support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. They can learn more about gambling addiction and recovery, and seek guidance from a sponsor, a former gambler with experience staying free from the addictive behavior. They can also strengthen their support network by spending more time with family and friends who do not gamble, enrolling in a class or hobby, or volunteering.

Posted in: Gambling