Getting Help For Gambling Disorders


Gambling is the act of putting something of value at risk on an event that has an element of chance in its outcome, with the potential to win a prize. It is a major international commercial activity and can take many forms. Examples include lotteries, cards, bingo, video poker, slot machines, races, animal tracks, and dice games. In addition, gambling can also be done with materials that have a value but do not represent real money, such as tickets to events or prizes from sweepstakes.

In the United States, gambling is a popular pastime, but it can also lead to addiction and problems in relationships and finances. Fortunately, there are ways to gamble responsibly and keep it from causing harm. It’s important to recognise the signs of a problem and seek treatment as soon as possible.

Getting help

If you have an addiction to gambling, there are various types of therapy that can be used to help you overcome it. These treatments can help you identify and change unhealthy emotions, thoughts and behaviors that are causing your problem. Psychotherapy usually takes place with a trained mental health professional, such as a psychologist or clinical social worker.

Medications are not currently available to treat gambling disorder, but there are some treatments that may help. These treatments can include cognitive-behavior therapy, which teaches people to resist irrational beliefs. It can also help them develop better coping skills and find other ways to spend their time. These techniques can be used alone or in conjunction with other types of treatment.

Longitudinal studies are also useful in determining the impact of gambling on a person’s life, but they are difficult to conduct due to the massive funding requirements and difficulty in maintaining a research team over a long period of time. Other challenges with longitudinal studies include avoiding bias and confounding factors, such as age and period effects (i.e., is a person’s increased interest in gambling because they have just turned 18 or is it because a new casino opened in their area?)

If you have someone in your family who is struggling with gambling, you can help them get the treatment they need to stop it from affecting their lives negatively. Some tips include talking about their addiction with someone they trust who will not judge them, finding alternative recreational activities and making a financial plan to prevent gambling from becoming a problem. You can also consider counseling, which includes family therapy and marriage, career and credit counseling. These types of therapy can help address the specific issues that caused your loved one to start gambling and lay the foundation for resolving them. Taking over management of their credit cards and loans can also be helpful in preventing them from being tempted to gamble. Ultimately, the best way to help a gambling addict is to provide them with support and encouragement. This is often hard, as they may try to rationalise their urges by telling themselves that it’s only “one last time.” But if you can keep them on track and avoid enabling them, your loved one can overcome their gambling disorder.