Gambling is an activity that involves betting on the outcome of a game or event, with the chance of winning money or other prizes. People can gamble on sports events, lotteries, bingo games, card games, video poker, and more. It can be a fun and harmless hobby for many, but it can also lead to a serious addiction. Those who have a problem with gambling often suffer from depression, stress, and anxiety. In addition, they can lose money and sabotage relationships. If you suspect that you have a gambling addiction, it is important to seek help.
Understand the risks of gambling
The first step in treating a gambling addiction is admitting that there is a problem. This can be difficult, especially if you’ve lost a large amount of money or have damaged your family and relationships. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, to help you break the habit. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches you to challenge your irrational beliefs and behaviors, such as thinking that a string of losses means you are due for a win.
Set limits and stick to them. Only gamble with money that you can afford to lose, and only for a limited time. Make it a rule to never use credit cards or borrow money to gamble. Make sure that gambling doesn’t interfere with your work, social life, or other hobbies. Avoid playing when you are depressed or stressed. Try to find other ways to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques.
Keep your gambling out of the workplace. The urge to gamble can be particularly strong during working hours, and it may distract you from getting your work done. Moreover, if you are struggling with an addiction to gambling, your attention may be focused on other activities, such as watching television or surfing the internet. This can have a negative impact on productivity and can ultimately affect your salary.
Seek help for mood disorders. Depression, stress, or substance abuse can both trigger and worsen gambling problems. These problems can be addressed through therapy, medication, and other methods of treatment.
Consider seeking help for a loved one who has a gambling addiction. A problem gambler can become increasingly desperate when he or she is losing money, and this can make it easier to rationalize requests for “just one more bet.” A professional therapist can teach the gambler healthier coping skills and develop a plan to stop gambling.
The most important thing to remember about gambling is that it’s a game of chance, and the odds are always against you. The sooner you accept this, the easier it will be to break the habit. It takes tremendous strength and courage to admit that you have a gambling problem, but many others have successfully overcome it and rebuilt their lives. Get matched with a therapist today. 100% online. Licensed, vetted, and professional. No referral needed.