How to Recognize a Gambling Disorder
Gambling is a leisure activity that involves wagering something of value on a random event, usually a sporting game, in order to win a prize. It is a form of risk taking, as gamblers are betting against their own best interests. However, it is also an activity that can be highly addictive and is associated with several health problems.
If you suspect that you have a gambling problem, it is important to seek help from a qualified health professional. A primary care physician can be an important resource for evaluating the risks and benefits of gambling. In addition, support groups are available to provide information, resources, and counseling.
There are several types of therapy used to treat gambling disorders. These include family and group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. Counseling can also help you learn to manage your problem and solve other issues related to gambling.
Symptoms of gambling disorder may start as early as adolescence. People with gambling disorder are unable to control their gambling and often exhibit irritability when trying to stop their behaviors. When gambling becomes a problem, the person may lose jobs, have significant debt, and even be physically and emotionally irritable. Their relationships can also suffer.
Some of the most common symptoms of a gambling disorder include losing money, spending excessive amounts of money, and having thoughts about gambling. Adolescents are at the highest risk for developing a gambling disorder. As an adult, pathological gamblers spend their income on gambling, lie to their spouse about their gambling habits, and miss work or school to play gambling games.
Problem gambling is often associated with high levels of suicidal ideation and anxiety. It is also common to experience depression. While it is not always easy to recognize a gambling disorder, it is a serious problem that should be addressed.
Gambling can be addictive and can cause problems in individuals, families, and communities. In addition to causing financial and personal crises, it can lead to social, educational, and occupational problems. Many states and jurisdictions have legalized gambling, which makes it more accessible. Although it is not illegal in many places, it is often heavily regulated and monitored.
You can take a screening for problem gambling. You can get a referral to a counselor by completing a BetterHelp quiz, which matches you with a therapist. This service is free.
You can also consider joining a peer support group, if you want to seek additional support. Support groups can help you overcome your gambling addiction by providing information, resources, and encouragement.
It is also important to have a support system of friends and family, who can help you through a difficult time. Remind your loved ones that you will need their support as you work toward recovery.
There are resources online and in your local area for people with gambling disorders. It is a good idea to contact the National Helpline, which is 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, members of the Church of God International, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are all opposed to gambling.