Gambling is an activity where you risk something of value in order to win something else of value. It can be an exciting experience, but it can also have a negative impact on your life. If you find that gambling is a problem for you, it is a good idea to get help. You can seek treatment from a counselor or a support group. There are organizations that help people with gambling problems, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has granted several research grants for this purpose.
Problem gambling is a form of addiction that is characterized by repeated, unsuccessful attempts to control the gambling. A person with this disorder usually lies about his or her gambling habits. This can make it difficult for other family members to understand their loved one’s gambling problems. The Gamblers Anonymous 12-step program, patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous, is a good resource for individuals seeking recovery from gambling.
If you have gambling issues, you should talk to your family and friends about it. They can provide you with encouragement. In addition, there are many helplines and organizations that can provide you with assistance. These include the National Center for Responsible Gaming and the Donaghue Women’s Health Investigator Program at Yale.
To determine whether you are at risk for problem gambling, you need to recognize the warning signs. When you feel a strong urge to gamble, you need to resist. Practicing relaxation techniques and exercising can also help you to cope with the urge. You may want to avoid casinos or other gambling establishments. Also, don’t let your credit card or bank account be used to finance your gambling.
Problem gambling is a progressive disease that can lead to suicidal thoughts and actions. It can develop as early as adolescence. Young people are more prone to gambling problems than older adults. Often, the disorder is triggered by depression or a mood disorder. However, even if you aren’t having a manic episode, you might still have an issue with gambling.
Many mental health professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria to diagnose gambling disorder. In addition, there are several types of therapy that can be used to help with the disorder. Treatment involves understanding the reasons you are gambling, changing your behaviors, and finding healthier alternatives.
In addition to therapy, you might need to change your environment. For instance, if you have a friend who is a gambler, you might need to get away from the temptations of the gambling establishment. By changing your environment, you can prevent relapse.
Your family and friends can be a crucial part of your recovery. If your spouse, children, or other family members are experiencing gambling problems, they can receive counseling from a professional.
There are several different therapies available for gambling disorders, including family therapy, marriage counseling, and group therapy. Some of these therapies are free. Others are available for a small fee.