Gambling Addiction – How to Recognise and Stop Gambling
Many people gamble for fun or to socialise, but it can be a problem if you start spending more than you can afford to lose. It can also cause problems with your work, health and relationships. If you have a gambling problem, it is important to know that there is help available. The first step is to recognise that you have a problem and seek treatment. Once you’ve done that, you can take steps to stop gambling and regain control of your life.
Gambling is the betting or staking of something of value, with consciousness of risk and hope of gain, on an uncertain event. It includes activities such as betting on a football match, buying a scratchcard, playing poker or horse racing. It is often associated with thrill-seeking and impulsivity and is classified as an impulse control disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.
Several factors influence gambling, including personality traits and coexisting mental health conditions. Some people may be genetically predisposed to thrill-seeking behaviour and impulsivity, while others may have underactive brain reward systems. In addition, the environment in which a person is raised and their culture can have an impact on their values, beliefs and attitudes toward gambling.
Some people believe that gambling can improve a person’s intelligence, since games like blackjack require careful strategizing and the need to make decisions in an intelligent manner. It is also believed that gambling can teach a person to plan ahead and handle risk-taking situations in a responsible way.
The human body releases feel-good hormones such as adrenaline and endorphins when they are winning bets, which can lead to a feeling of contentment and happiness. The pleasure that is felt can also be compared to eating a tasty meal or spending time with friends. However, the negative effects of gambling can outweigh the positive ones, and it is important to understand how to identify a gambling addiction.
In order to help people manage their gambling habits, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved several medications to treat gambling disorders. In addition, psychotherapy can be an effective treatment. This form of therapy involves talking with a trained mental health professional, such as a psychologist or clinical social worker, to help a person change their unhealthy emotions and thoughts.
It is important to learn how to relieve unpleasant feelings in healthier ways, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble and practicing relaxation techniques. It is also helpful to try new hobbies and socialise in a different way. Many people who struggle with gambling have a hard time admitting they have a problem, but it is crucial to recognize that you have a gambling problem and seek treatment before your situation gets out of hand. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it, and remember that there are many other people who have successfully stopped gambling and rebuilt their lives. Get matched with a therapist today.