How to Deal With a Gambling Addiction


Gambling is the placing of something of value – money or other goods, for example a ticket to an event – on an uncertain outcome. It includes activities such as betting on sports or horse racing, buying scratchcards and playing video games that involve small in-game purchases or microtransactions. It can be an exciting form of entertainment, but it’s important to keep in mind that gambling can cause harm if it becomes addictive.

There are many things that can lead to a gambling addiction, including personal circumstances, genetic predisposition and coexisting mental health conditions. Some people are more at risk of developing a problem with gambling than others, such as men and those who are isolated or depressed. People who have a family history of gambling or an eating disorder are also more likely to become addicted to it.

Problematic gambling is a complex issue, but there are ways to get help and reduce the risk of it becoming worse. One of the first steps is acknowledging that you have a problem. It can be difficult to admit this, especially if it has led to lost money and strained relationships, but it is an essential part of recovering from the habit. It can be helpful to talk about your gambling with someone who is supportive and won’t judge you, such as a friend or counsellor.

The second step is to make changes to your lifestyle and behaviour. Avoid using gambling as a way to socialise or escape from stress, and try to balance it with other hobbies and activities. It’s also important to not use credit cards or take out loans for gambling. Finally, don’t attempt to recoup losses by chasing your winnings – the more you try to win back your lost money, the more likely it is that you will lose even more.

Psychotherapy, or talking therapy, is an effective treatment for gambling addiction. Several different types of psychotherapy have been shown to be helpful, and these may include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), family or group therapy, and individual counselling.

To treat your gambling addiction, you’ll need to work with a therapist who is experienced in treating addictive behaviors. Fortunately, there are online services that match you with qualified therapists, such as BetterHelp. These services can help you address underlying issues such as depression, anxiety and relationship problems that may be contributing to your gambling behavior. You can start by taking a short assessment on the site, and then you’ll be matched with a therapist who can help you get back on track. Start your recovery today!

Posted in: Gambling