Gambling is a risky activity. Although it can be a fun way to socialize and relieve stress, it can be harmful to your mental and physical health. It also can leave you in serious debt and can have an impact on your relationships.
You might be surprised to know that you can actually get help if you are a problem gambler. There are several organisations that can offer you counselling and other forms of support. Some of these services can be found online.
If you are a member of a recovery program like Gamblers Anonymous, you can get support from a group of former addicts. This can help you understand gambling and how to cope with it. Practicing relaxation techniques and exercise can also be helpful.
You can also ask for help from your family. Your spouse, parents, and other relatives can help you work through your problems. They can be a source of support, especially if you are unable to find other friends. Those who are in recovery can also volunteer for good causes.
Family therapy can also help you cope with gambling. Identifying the triggers for your problem can help you decide if you need to seek professional help. Counseling can be confidential. Many organisations offer gambling counselling.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is another form of therapy that can help you change unhealthy habits and behaviors. These programs focus on changing the way you think and respond to stressful situations. In addition, these types of treatments can help you learn coping strategies and change your negative beliefs.
Other ways to deal with problem gambling are to limit the amount of money you spend and to take responsibility for your financial affairs. For example, you might set up a bank account to make automatic payments. You can also stop using credit cards to fund your gambling accounts. A third option is to get help with credit counseling.
In many jurisdictions, gambling is illegal. However, if you are older, you can legally bet on the lottery or other sports events. Online casinos are available for people who can’t travel. And in some European countries, you can join organized football pools.
While there are no FDA-approved medications for gambling disorders, medication may be used to treat co-occurring conditions such as depression or anxiety. Depending on the disorder, treatment can include lifestyle changes, therapy, and medication.
There are also many self-help resources that can help you cope with problem gambling. The Responsible Gambling Council has produced a series of self-help books, including a book titled “Gambling Disorders: How to Deal with Problem Gamblers.”
If you think that you might have a gambling disorder, it is important to see a doctor. The sooner you seek treatment, the better. Even if you have already had a gambling problem, it is still possible to overcome it. Remember to surround yourself with accountability, avoid tempting environments, and make new friends outside of gambling.
Getting help to stop gambling can be overwhelming. Most people with gambling addiction have to work through it for a long time before they are able to quit. But if you have a family member who is a problem gambler, there are some steps you can take to make a positive difference in their life.