How to Overcome Gambling Addiction

Gambling is any activity in which people stake something of value on an uncertain outcome. It’s a form of risk-taking that has existed in every society since prerecorded history. It evokes a range of emotions, from the thrill of winning to the shame of losing, and it has made millionaires out of some and caused financial ruin and broken relationships for others. While it’s promoted as a harmless source of entertainment and fun, it can also be addictive.

It is possible to overcome gambling addiction, and there are many steps that can be taken to help. The first step is acknowledging that you have a problem. This is often the most difficult part, especially if you’ve lost a lot of money and have damaged or strained your relationships. However, you’re not alone – there are many others who have gone through the same struggles and successfully broke free from their gambling habits.

Once you’ve acknowledged that you have a gambling problem, the next step is to create an action plan. This can include getting rid of credit cards, putting someone else in charge of your finances, or closing online betting accounts. Setting a budget is also helpful, as it helps you stay within your spending limits. It’s also important to find other ways to spend your time, such as exercising, meeting up with friends, or working on hobbies. Lastly, it’s essential to avoid gambling when you’re feeling down or stressed. The urge to gamble is often triggered by negative feelings, and chasing your losses will only increase the amount you lose in the long run.

People with mental health issues, such as depression or stress, are more likely to develop a gambling disorder than those without them. In fact, up to 5% of those with mood disorders develop the disorder. Additionally, people with impulsivity issues may be more prone to gambling addiction.

The development of the modern American economy has been a significant contributor to gambling addiction, as it has resulted in an inordinate focus on money and profit. The societal shift to individualism, the Civil Rights Movement, and technological advances have also contributed to the growth of the industry.

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved any medications to treat gambling disorder, psychotherapy can be an effective treatment option. Psychotherapy is a term for a variety of therapeutic techniques that are designed to help a person change unhealthy thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It involves having sessions with a trained mental health professional, such as a psychologist or clinical social worker. A trained therapist can teach you skills to manage your gambling problems and identify any underlying mood disorders that are contributing to them. BetterHelp is an online therapy service that matches you with a licensed, accredited therapist. Take our assessment today and get matched in as little as 48 hours. Then you can begin your journey to recovery.