Help For Gambling Addiction

Gambling involves wagering something of value on a chance event, with the intent to win something else of value. People gamble for many reasons, including for the excitement, to socialise or escape from worries and stress. However, gambling can get out of hand and cause problems for individuals and their families. It can also affect work, study and relationships. Some people can even experience depression, suicidal thoughts and financial crisis. Thankfully, there is help available for those who are struggling with gambling addiction. Treatment, support groups and self-help tips can all be useful.

Some people may think that only casino gambling is addictive, but all forms of gambling are potentially harmful. Even playing card games or betting on horse races with friends in a private setting can be considered gambling. The key to avoiding gambling addiction is to know your limits and set them for yourself. It is important not to use money that you need for bills or rent, and to keep a record of your losses and wins. It is also a good idea to never chase your losses, as this will almost certainly lead to bigger losses.

There are no medications that treat gambling disorders, but a number of therapies can help people overcome their urges and change their thinking patterns. Behavioral therapy can be helpful for those who struggle with addiction, and family and marriage counselling can help couples understand their issues and find ways to cope. There are also several support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous, that provide peer-to-peer help. In addition, physical activity can help reduce the symptoms of gambling disorder.

It is also a good idea to avoid gambling when you are feeling down or angry, and to stop if you feel an urge coming on. People with mental health problems are more likely to be at risk of harmful gambling, and there is a link between suicide and problem gambling. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or need help, contact 999 or visit A&E immediately. If you are a victim of gambling-related debt, speak to a free debt advisor at StepChange for confidential advice. They can help you find a suitable repayment plan for your situation, and offer other advice on how to deal with the debts you have. It is also worth noting that gambling is often linked to feelings of loneliness and isolation, so you may benefit from reaching out to your loved ones for support. This could include regular phone calls, face-to-face meetings or going to a local support group. The National Counselling Service can also offer help and advice. There are also a number of private treatment centres and rehab programmes for those who need inpatient care or around-the-clock support. It is essential to find a support network and recognise that recovery from gambling addiction takes time, and there will be setbacks along the way. However, if you persevere and remain committed, it is possible to overcome your gambling addiction.