Gambling involves risking money or other items of value on an event that is determined by chance. People gamble for many reasons, including excitement, winning money or socialising. However, for some, gambling can become an addiction. If you have a gambling problem or you know someone who does, help is available. You can get treatment, join a support group or try self-help tips.
The first step in treating gambling disorder is admitting you have a problem. This can be hard, especially if your gambling has caused financial problems or strained relationships with family and friends. You may feel ashamed, but there are others who have overcome this issue and rebuilt their lives.
Although some people can stop gambling on their own, most need help to do so. A mental health professional can assess the severity of your gambling disorder and recommend a treatment plan. Treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, group therapy and family therapy. There are no FDA-approved medications to treat gambling disorders, but some medications can help with co-occurring conditions like depression and anxiety.
Psychiatrists are trained in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. They can also refer you to other professionals for treatment if necessary. They will ask you about your gambling habits and your family history to assess whether you have a mental illness. They will also do a physical examination to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
You can find out more about the different types of treatment for gambling disorders by talking to a therapist. You can be matched with a qualified, licensed therapist in as little as 48 hours.
There is a strong link between gambling and mental health issues. In fact, it is the most common cause of suicide in the UK. If you have suicidal thoughts, call 999 or go to A&E immediately. People with mental health issues are more likely to gamble, and they often do so as a way to self-soothe unpleasant emotions or escape from boredom. Fortunately, there are healthier ways to cope with these feelings, such as exercising, spending time with non-gambling friends and taking up new hobbies.
In addition, if you’re struggling with debt, you can speak to StepChange for free, confidential debt advice.
It’s important to know that gambling is a dangerous habit and can lead to severe financial problems. It’s also important to understand the signs and symptoms of gambling disorder so you can get help if needed. You can also read our article on debt management tips to help you manage your finances. And remember to always play responsibly and within your means. This will reduce your risk of gambling-related problems. If you have a friend or loved one who is struggling with gambling, you can help them by offering support and setting boundaries. You can also encourage them to seek help and stay in contact with family members, who can offer moral support. You can also consider taking over the management of their money to prevent them from accessing funds they should not be spending on gambling.