Gambling involves wagering something of value on a random event with the intent of winning a prize. The value of the stake can range from a small amount of money to a life-changing jackpot. It’s important to gamble responsibly, and never risk more than you can afford to lose. In addition, it’s important to know the difference between problem gambling and recreational gambling. Problem gambling occurs when the behavior interferes with other areas of a person’s life, including physical or mental health, school or work performance, finances, and interpersonal relationships.
Historically, the psychiatric community has viewed pathological gambling (PG) as more of a compulsion than an addiction. However, based on the high comorbidity of PG with other impulse control disorders such as kleptomania and trichotillomania (hair-pulling), the American Psychiatric Association recently changed the classification of PG in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to classify it as an addictive disorder.
There are a number of ways to treat gambling addiction. One option is to seek therapy. If you have a gambling addiction, it’s important to see a therapist who specializes in the disorder. The therapist will be able to help you identify the root cause of your problem and develop a plan for recovery.
Another option is to join a support group. There are many groups available, including Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. These groups provide invaluable support and guidance as you work to overcome your gambling addiction.
The most important step in overcoming gambling addiction is admitting that you have a problem. This can be a difficult step, especially if you’ve lost a lot of money or have damaged or strained your relationships because of gambling. But it’s vital to recognize that you have a problem in order to get help.
If you’re concerned that a loved one has a gambling problem, talk to them about it. It’s also a good idea to set boundaries when it comes to managing the family’s money. This will prevent the problem gambler from putting you at financial risk by spending your money on their gambling habit. It’s also important to seek treatment for any underlying mood disorders that may be contributing to their addiction. Depression, stress, and substance abuse can all trigger gambling addictions or make them worse. If you’re struggling with these issues, get matched with a therapist today. Our online service connects you with a licensed, vetted therapist in less than 48 hours. Whether you’re looking for an individual therapist or a family therapist, we have you covered.