If you are struggling with gambling addiction, you need to take action. This is a problem that affects more than just you, and it can cause long-lasting damage to your family and finances. The good news is that there are ways to help, and getting professional counseling is an important first step. In addition to family therapy, there are marriage and career counseling services available, as well as credit management and debt relief assistance.
Gambling is the wagering of something of value on an uncertain event with the intent to win a prize. Almost anyone who has ever played a game of chance or placed a bet on sports, horse racing, a lottery or any other form of gambling has engaged in gambling. The most common forms of gambling are slot machines, card games, and table games such as blackjack, roulette and poker. Although many people gamble for fun, some become addicted to the activity. When this happens, the behavior becomes compulsive and the person may have a hard time stopping.
There are several types of gambling addiction, and the most common is pathological gambling (PG). PG is an impulse control disorder that causes people to be unable to stop gambling, even when they are losing money. PG can be caused by genetic predisposition, exposure to gambling during adolescence or young adulthood, and other factors, such as stress, depression and drug use.
A growing body of research indicates that there are significant social and economic costs associated with gambling. These costs include loss of personal wealth, loss of productive capacity, increase in criminal activities and family discord. In addition to these costs, there is also a significant psychological cost. Those who are suffering from gambling addiction should seek professional treatment as soon as possible.
Trying to cope with a loved one’s gambling addiction can be stressful and frustrating. It is important to talk to your loved ones about their gambling habits in a supportive and concerned manner. It is not helpful to be deceptive, aggressive or judgmental when talking about gambling. Rather, it is more effective to discuss the specific issues that are of concern to you, such as financial stability and relationships.
When you talk to your loved ones, consider if there are any triggers that might prompt them to gamble. For example, if driving by the casino after work makes them want to gamble, consider taking another route home. You can also help your loved ones develop healthier coping mechanisms, such as exercising, socializing with non-gambling friends, or practicing relaxation techniques.
You can encourage your loved ones to seek help by telling them about the benefits of professional gambling addiction treatment. It can be difficult for them to admit they have a problem, but you can offer support and assistance in finding a treatment center.