Dealing With Gambling Disorders

Dealing With Gambling Disorders

Gambling is the wagering of something of value on an event whose outcome is uncertain. The something of value could be money, a product, or another service. There are several types of gambling, including sports betting, horse racing, lottery, video poker, and blackjack. Gambling also encompasses online gaming, which has become a multi-billion dollar industry. While many people can easily walk away after a few rounds of blackjack or coins in a slot machine, others are not so lucky and fall into the trap of gambling addiction.

A common symptom of gambling addiction is hiding evidence of their behaviour from friends and family. This may include lying about how much they are spending or hiding credit cards or bank statements. People with a gambling problem also tend to spend an excessive amount of time on the activity, and find themselves thinking about it all the time. The good news is that there are many organisations who provide treatment, support and advice for those struggling with a gambling problem. These services can be accessed via face-to-face counselling, telephone or web chat, and more intensive residential or inpatient treatments.

Some people gamble for social reasons, to gain a rush of excitement, or because they think that they can win big and change their life. For other people, gambling is a way to escape from the realities of their lives, or to relieve stress and anxiety. In some cases, these factors are combined and can be a cause of gambling addiction.

The first step in dealing with a gambling disorder is recognizing the problem and addressing it. Often, this will involve therapy or self-help tips. Some therapies that can be used to treat gambling disorders include psychodynamic therapy, which examines unconscious processes, and group therapy, where people meet with other people who have the same problems and discuss them under the supervision of a mental health professional.

Other therapies that can be useful in treating gambling disorder include cognitive behavioural therapy, which helps people learn new ways to deal with their emotions, and family and marital therapy. These can help repair damaged relationships and finances, and provide a stable home environment.

A final note is that anyone who has a serious gambling problem should seek help from a doctor or therapist. In some cases, medication may be required to control the symptoms of a gambling disorder. Those who are unable to stop gambling, even with the assistance of therapy or medications, should consider inpatient or residential treatment programs.

There are a number of different reasons why people might struggle with gambling, but some of the most common causes include: