How to Overcome Gambling Addiction


Gambling involves risking something of value, such as money or a physical object, on an event whose outcome is uncertain. It can be done in many ways, from placing a bet on a horse race to playing a video game. Some forms of gambling involve skill, while others are pure chance. It is important to understand what constitutes gambling so that you can avoid becoming addicted.

The first step in overcoming gambling addiction is accepting that you have one. This can be a difficult step for many people, especially if the gambling has cost them a significant amount of money or has strained or broken relationships. However, the fact is that many people have overcome compulsive gambling and rebuilt their lives. If you need help, there are many resources available.

Once you have accepted that you have a problem, the next step is to seek treatment for it. There are many different types of therapy for gambling disorder, but the most common is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). With this type of therapy, you work with a mental health professional to examine your thoughts and emotions, and then learn healthier ways to cope with stress and anxiety. You may also benefit from group therapy, in which you meet with other people who have the same problem and describe your experiences with them.

Behavioral therapies for gambling addiction are often combined with psychodynamic therapy, which looks at the unconscious processes that drive your behavior. In addition, it is helpful to address any underlying mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety, that can trigger or make worse gambling behavior.

Other forms of therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy for gambling disorder, motivational interviewing, and family therapy. Family therapy can help re-establish healthy communication in your home, and can also educate your loved ones about the risks of gambling. Motivational interviewing is a technique that helps you solve your own uncertainty about making healthy changes, and it can be used in combination with CBT for gambling disorder.

It is also helpful to find a peer support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. In these groups, you work with a sponsor, who is a former gambler who has experience remaining free from gambling and can offer guidance and support. Finally, it is helpful to surround yourself with positive people and avoid tempting environments and websites.

It is also important to only gamble with money that you can afford to lose, and to never use the money that you need for rent or bills. Lastly, it is helpful to establish a budget and stick to it. Finally, it is a good idea to start exercising, taking up a new hobby, or finding other ways to reduce your boredom, which can also be a cause of gambling problems. By following these tips, you can take control of your gambling and stay in recovery. Good luck!