Whether you’re a fan of online slots, poker tournaments, or lotteries, gambling is an activity that affects us all. Although there are no medications on the market that specifically treat gambling disorders, there are various types of therapy that may help.
The first step in getting your gambling problem under control is to decide whether or not you’re a candidate for problem gambling. There are a number of mental health professionals who use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria to diagnose gambling disorder.
Adolescents can have gambling problems as well, although the problem is more prevalent in men than women. For young adults, gambling often begins through a game of chance, or a bet with a friend or family member. Some forms of gambling are illegal, like playing slots on the internet or gambling on a sporting event. However, there are many legal ways to gamble.
One way to overcome a gambling problem is to join a support group or attend a counseling session. These groups use peer support to help you stop gambling. These are free of charge and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you’re unsure about joining a support group, consider finding a sponsor who can guide you through the process.
Gambling has a number of negative effects on a person’s life, such as financial disaster, social dysfunction, and loss of relationships. Depending on the severity of the problem, it may affect the work place, family relationships, and even one’s health. In some cases, a problem gambler may even lie to his or her spouse about gambling. A problem gambler may also commit crimes in order to finance his or her gambling habits.
Another important step is to find out how much money you’re losing to gambling. Most people can usually win back their money after a losing streak. However, it’s important to set limits for yourself when it comes to managing your money.
If your loved one has a gambling problem, the best way to encourage him or her to seek help is to let the person know that you support them. Although it can be hard to admit that a loved one has a problem, it’s important to reach out and let them know that they aren’t alone. A family member should not lecture the problem gambler about his or her gambling habits, and should not prevent the person from participating in family activities.
The best way to fight a gambling addiction is to set boundaries for yourself and your family members. While you may have to set aside a certain amount of money to gamble, you should never let your problem gambler get out of control. You should also avoid making online wagers or using credit cards. If you’re worried that your loved one is using your credit cards to gamble, contact your bank and have them set up automatic payments.
Aside from taking control of your finances, you should also consider strengthening your family’s support network. Join a support group, volunteer for a good cause, enroll in classes or a program at your local community college, or make new friends outside of gambling.