How to Overcome a Gambling Disorder


Gambling is the placing of a bet on something of value, such as money or goods, with an intention to win. It may be done legally or illegally, in person or online. It is an activity that can trigger feelings of excitement and euphoria, but it is important to remember that gambling is not a reliable way to make money. Rather than seeing it as an investment, gamblers should consider gambling as an entertainment expense and treat it accordingly.

Like other addictions, gambling can cause significant problems for its sufferers and their families. It can lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse and even legal problems. In some cases, gambling can also lead to financial ruin. However, not everyone who gambles develops a gambling disorder, and many people who have gambling disorders don’t seek help. Those who do seek help often find that the problem is much more complex than they expected.

The underlying causes of gambling disorders vary, but they often include a history of trauma or a lack of social support. Some studies suggest that a genetic link may be responsible, while others point to environmental factors such as poverty and childhood abuse as risk factors. Gambling disorders can begin in adolescence or adulthood and they tend to run in families. They also appear to be more common in people with lower incomes and are more prevalent in men than women.

There are many ways that you can try to overcome a gambling addiction, and some methods are more effective than others. It’s a good idea to seek treatment from a licensed mental health professional, especially if you’ve lost a lot of money or have damaged your relationships as a result of your gambling habits. A therapist can teach you healthy coping skills, help you identify and change unhealthy thoughts and behaviors, and provide you with strategies for dealing with the urge to gamble.

In addition to treating gambling disorders, a therapist can also help you cope with other mood disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or stress. It’s important to address these issues because they can trigger or make compulsive gambling worse. Lastly, it’s a good idea to participate in recreational activities that don’t involve the use of a computer or mobile phone. This can help you get back in touch with the real world and may prevent a gambling addiction from developing in the first place.

It’s also a good idea to avoid gambling products that are designed to keep you hooked, such as casino games and video poker. Instead, look for games that promote healthy coping and socializing, as well as skill improvement. You can also try a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, or contact your local gambling helpline for more information on resources in your area. Remember that the most important step in overcoming a gambling addiction is admitting that you have one. It takes tremendous strength and courage to admit that you have a problem, but there are many people who have successfully overcome gambling addictions and rebuilt their lives.