Gambling is a form of risk taking, where two or more people (or groups) agree to bet on an uncertain event with a potential reward. It can involve betting on a sporting match or on the outcome of a lottery. It can also refer to a more complex endeavour such as investing in a new and untested technology in the hope that it will gain high demand.
It can be addictive and lead to serious problems if it becomes a habit. Some people are able to stop gambling on their own but many need help from others to break the cycle.
Some people may not recognise that they have a problem with gambling, but it can still have a negative impact on their lives and wellbeing. It’s important to talk about it if you think someone you know is having a problem, and there are lots of organisations that can give support, advice or counselling.
There are a range of different types of treatment for gambling disorders, but it depends on the specifics of each case. Some of these include cognitive behavioural therapy, psychodynamic therapy, group therapy and family therapy.
Often gambling can be linked to other mental health issues, so you may need a combination of different treatments. Generally, treatment will include talking to a specialist, who will talk through your symptoms and recommend ways to manage them.
The aim is to help you find a solution and stay on track in your recovery. It’s not easy, but it can be done if you’re willing to work hard.
You can help yourself to overcome gambling if you try the following tips:
Be honest about your feelings and why you gamble. You need to understand that you are causing harm to yourself and your family by gambling.
Get support from friends and family. They can encourage you to cut back or stop gambling, and they will be able to tell if you are being abused by gambling.
If you do have problems with gambling, talk to a doctor or counsellor about it. You can get help in a variety of ways, including counseling, medication and residential treatment.
Refrain from gambling whenever you want to. This will help you avoid a relapse and prevent you from losing money.
Don’t be disheartened if you lose. The experience can teach you something about yourself and help you learn how to better manage your finances.
Consider alternative activities to gambling, such as volunteering or playing sport. The stress of gambling can make you feel depressed and anxious, so finding other things to do can help you cope with these emotions.
Strengthen your support network and attend support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous. These are 12-step programs that help people with similar problems to you. You can also reach out to a National Helpline, which is a telephone number you can call for advice and support.
The key to recovery from a gambling addiction is to build up a strong support network and to stay motivated. You may need to make some changes in your life, such as getting a job or changing your lifestyle, but it can be done if you try hard.