Gambling is a fun activity, but it can quickly turn into a serious problem if you don’t learn to control your habits. It can damage your financial health, strain relationships, and cause stress at work. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction so you can get help.
Psychiatric professionals use criteria to diagnose psychological problems, and the newest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists problem gambling alongside other addictive behaviors such as drinking and drug abuse. Many people who suffer from a gambling problem also have other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression.
It’s not a good idea to gamble if you are struggling with any other mental health issues or are under a lot of stress at work, in your personal life, or with your family. It’s important to take time out to talk with a professional about the problem, so they can recommend a treatment plan that will be best for you.
In most cases, a gambling problem can be treated with medication and therapy. Medication can be effective for a variety of reasons, including helping you to cope with the stress caused by gambling. In addition, some medications used to treat substance abuse, such as naltrexone, can also be effective in treating gambling.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you understand your thoughts and feelings surrounding betting. This will help you to identify the beliefs and rituals that lead to your gambling behavior, and will teach you how to change them.
You can also find support online from the National Council on Problem Gambling, which has a self-assessment tool and links to resources that can help you address your gambling problems. They offer a wide range of services, from financial counseling and family therapy to support groups and credit counselling.
It’s not easy to break a bad habit, but it’s possible with the right resources. A recovery program can be a great way to rebuild your life and avoid future problems.
Relapse is a common occurrence for recovering addicts, but it’s not unavoidable. You can prevent relapse by avoiding the environment and websites that lure you, setting boundaries with family members and taking over your own finances, and finding healthier activities to replace gambling in your life.
Your gambling behavior may have been driven by a desire to self-soothe unpleasant emotions or relieve boredom, but this should not be the case. Instead, you should find healthier ways to relieve those feelings, such as exercising, socializing with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques.
Addiction and problem gambling are complex disorders, so it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Medications can help reduce your cravings, and cognitive behavioral therapy can address your beliefs about betting and the emotional changes that occur when you are addicted.
If you have a loved one who has a gambling problem, be empathetic and understanding. They will be trying to recover from their addiction and may be feeling overwhelmed by their own struggles. It’s hard for them to admit to their problem and ask for help, so it’s important that you listen carefully and help them reach out for the care they need.