How to Overcome a Gambling Problem

Gambling involves risking money or valuables on an activity based on chance in the hope of gaining a prize. It has been an integral part of human culture throughout history and has often been a source of conflict, controversy, legal battles, and financial ruin. It is possible to become addicted to gambling, and many gamblers are unable to stop their addiction without round-the-clock support. There are several steps that can be taken to help someone struggling with a gambling problem, including seeking professional help and setting limits on the amount of money that can be spent on gambling.

The first step in overcoming a gambling addiction is admitting that there is a problem. This can be difficult, especially for people who have lost a significant amount of money or strained family relationships as a result of their gambling. It is also important to seek treatment, which can be done in the form of individual therapy, group therapy, or even residential or inpatient care.

A person with a gambling problem may experience any of the following symptoms:

(1) They feel an urge to place bets on sports, games, or events despite their knowledge that these activities are not guaranteed to yield any profit. (2) They have frequent thoughts about their past winning or losing streaks and are unable to control these urges. (3) They have an irrational belief that they will win big and overcome their losses, even though the odds are against them. (4) They lie to family members, therapists, or employers to conceal the extent of their involvement with gambling. (5) They have committed illegal acts, such as forgery or theft, to finance their gambling.

Many factors can contribute to a person’s gambling problems, including genetic predisposition, mood disorders such as depression or anxiety, and environmental stressors like divorce or loss of a job. Moreover, some people with a history of drug or alcohol abuse are at increased risk of developing gambling problems. It is also important to note that gambling can mask other problems, such as an underlying substance use disorder or mood disorder, so it is essential to seek treatment for these issues before addressing the gambling habit. It is also a good idea to strengthen your support network and find new activities to replace the gambling that you used to do. This could include joining a book club, taking an online course, exercising, or finding a peer support program such as Gamblers Anonymous. If you are struggling with a gambling problem, you can get support through BetterHelp’s online therapy service. It will match you with a licensed, accredited therapist who can help you manage your gambling addiction and recover your life. Take our assessment today and get matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours.