How to Overcome a Gambling Addiction

For some people gambling offers the chance of a fun time and a rush when the dice are in their favor, but for others this behavior can have serious effects. It can hurt relationships, cause financial hardship, impact work or study performance and even lead to homelessness.

Gambling is risking money or other valuables on the outcome of a game based on chance, such as betting on a football match or buying a scratchcard. The winnings from gambling can be quite substantial and some individuals are able to control their gambling, but for others it becomes addictive. Various studies have shown that gambling can trigger changes in brain chemistry, similar to how alcohol and certain drugs do, making individuals more susceptible to developing a problem.

The first step in overcoming a gambling addiction is acknowledging that you have one. It may be difficult, especially if you have lost a lot of money and have strained or broken relationships in the process, but it is an essential part of the recovery process.

Trying to recover from a gambling disorder requires a combination of therapy and self-management. The most important thing is to understand that your gambling is not making you happy. Try to find other ways to feel pleasure in your life, such as exercise, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, and practicing relaxation techniques. You can also seek help for underlying mood disorders, such as depression, stress, or anxiety. BetterHelp is an online service that matches you with a licensed and accredited therapist who can help you manage these issues, as well as your gambling addiction.