How to Overcome a Gambling Addiction

Gambling is the wagering of something of value on an event with a random outcome. Generally, there are four reasons why people gamble: for entertainment, to win money, to socialize and for the rush or high that gambling can provide. However, some people develop a gambling addiction that can negatively impact their life, health and relationships.

People who have a gambling problem are more likely to have other mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. This is because the stress and loss of control associated with gambling can worsen these conditions. Additionally, those who have a gambling disorder are at higher risk of homelessness and poverty.

In addition, a gambling addiction can lead to substance use disorders and financial problems. It can also harm a person’s career and socialization. Moreover, it can cause stress and strained family relationships and increase the risk of suicide.

Some people who have a gambling disorder are at a greater risk of having other medical and psychiatric conditions, such as heart disease, stroke and depression. Additionally, they are more likely to commit crimes, such as fraud and embezzlement. Research suggests that 4% of those treated for drug abuse have gambling disorder, and nearly 7% of psychiatric inpatients have it.

Unlike substance use disorders, the DSM doesn’t have specific diagnostic criteria for gambling disorder. Despite this, there is general agreement among researchers that there are clear signs and symptoms of gambling disorder, including the illusion of control, irrational beliefs and the gambler’s fallacy.

The first step in overcoming a gambling addiction is identifying and avoiding triggers. This can be done by writing down the times, dates and places that make you want to gamble. This can be helpful when deciding how to manage your finances, and by helping you identify the underlying causes of your behavior.

Other ways to combat a gambling addiction include strengthening your support network, finding healthy hobbies and practicing relaxation techniques. In addition, avoiding gambling websites, keeping credit cards and nonessential cash at home and deleting sports betting apps from your phone can help prevent temptation. Additionally, you can find other sources of entertainment that don’t involve spending money, such as reading, exercising or attending social events.

If you’re struggling with a gambling problem, it’s important to seek treatment. Whether you’re seeking out individual therapy or group support, it can be an invaluable tool in your recovery. For example, a therapist can help you learn to recognize your unhealthy thought patterns and how to challenge them. In addition, they can teach you coping skills that will help you resist the urge to gamble. They can also guide you through a 12-step recovery program, such as Gamblers Anonymous. By implementing these steps, you can achieve long-term recovery from a gambling addiction. For more information, contact a local addiction treatment center. These centers are staffed by experienced clinicians who can provide you with the tools and resources to successfully overcome your gambling addiction.

You May Also Like

More From Author