If you find yourself gambling more than you can afford to lose or are finding that your gambling is affecting your relationships and finances, it may be time to talk to a mental health professional about it. You can also seek help from a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous, and try some self-help tips to stop your gambling problem.
Gambling and the Brain
Some people gamble to escape from their problems or socialize with friends, while others gamble to relieve anxiety or stress. In both cases, gambling is a form of entertainment and triggers feelings of euphoria linked to the brain’s reward system.
How to Stop Gambling if You’re Having a Problem
The key to stopping gambling is to understand how it works. There are many ways to overcome an addiction, but the best way is to take control of your behavior and think about why you’re gambling in the first place.
Beliefs about gambling
Those who gamble often have false beliefs about the odds of winning, the effects of rituals on the outcome of a wager, and the ability to win back money that has been lost. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you change these beliefs and learn to fight cravings for gambling.
Dealing With Your Family
If you have a loved one with a gambling addiction, you need to set boundaries in managing their finances. This can include taking over the responsibility for bank and credit card statements, or ensuring they are not spending more than they can afford to.
It’s important to remember that gambling is an addictive behaviour and can be treated like any other addiction, with CBT, medication, and lifestyle changes. Using these techniques will help you get the support you need to stop gambling and lead a healthy, productive life.
A Gambling Disorder diagnosis is made when you have a pattern of compulsive gambling, and you are struggling to cope with it or are experiencing financial difficulties as a result. Your doctor or therapist will use criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, to diagnose your problem.
Your doctor or therapist will assess your gambling patterns and may ask you to fill out a questionnaire about how you gamble and what is happening in your life. They will also want to know if your gambling habits are related to an underlying mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety.
Family and Friends Are Key to Gambling Addiction Treatment
Those who are suffering from a gambling addiction need the support of their family and friends to stop their behaviour. It is not always possible to persuade a loved one to quit, but it is important that you are there to offer encouragement and support throughout their treatment process.
If you are concerned that a loved one has a gambling problem, you should seek professional advice. A professional will help you to understand the root cause of the behaviour and can recommend treatment options for you and your loved one.