Gambling involves wagering something of value on an event that has a chance of yielding a prize. People gamble for a variety of reasons, including socialising and the adrenaline rush from winning money. But for some people, gambling can get out of control and cause problems. If you’re concerned that you might have a problem, there are ways to get help. You can seek treatment, join support groups and try self-help tips.
Research has shown that a person’s mental health can be affected by their gambling habits. For example, those with a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety are more likely to develop gambling disorders. People with low incomes also have a greater risk of gambling disorder, as do young people and men.
There’s no medication that treats gambling disorder, but psychotherapy can be effective. Psychotherapy is a wide range of techniques that aim to change unhealthy emotions, thoughts and behaviors. It’s usually done with a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychologist or clinical social worker. Psychotherapy can include individual therapy, group therapy or family therapy.
It’s important to recognize that you have a gambling problem, especially if it has damaged your relationships or finances. It takes strength and courage to admit that you have a problem, but there is hope. Seek out help from support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous, and talk to a therapist. You can also try self-help tips, such as postponing gambling or spending more time with loved ones.