Problem gambling has been diagnosed by mental health professionals. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, it is listed among other addictive behaviors. Gambling Disorder occurs when an individual spends increasing amounts of money to obtain a sense of excitement and the urge to gamble continues despite repeated attempts to stop. A person who is diagnosed with problem gambling has trouble identifying the symptoms of the disorder and seeking treatment.
While there is no cure for gambling addiction, you can strengthen your support network by speaking with family and friends and forming new friendships outside of the gambling world. Enroll in education classes, volunteer for a good cause, or join a peer support group. For more support, consider seeking help from Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step program that follows the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The group encourages members to have a sponsor, a former gambler who can provide guidance and support.
When your urges for gambling are intense, resist the urge and avoid the situation. The first step is to remove all credit cards and other sources of money from your life. If possible, let someone else manage those accounts. If the problem starts to affect your financial life, try closing online betting accounts and making automatic payments to your bank. You can also practice relaxation techniques and engage in physical activities. If your urge to gamble persists, talk to a professional about the steps you need to take to stop it.
Problem gambling is often accompanied by conflicting emotions. Family members may have to intervene and help their loved one make a decision to stop. It can be difficult to encourage a person who has a gambling problem to seek treatment and get help. Support and encouragement are vital in overcoming the problem. If a loved one mentions suicide, the family should take the threat seriously. Even if the person is not in a position to seek treatment, he or she can seek help for overcoming his or her addiction.
The dangers of gambling can vary widely. Whether it is legal or illegal, it involves the risk of losing money. The fact that gambling is available to almost everyone makes it more accessible than it has ever been. In fact, four out of five Americans has gambled at some point in their lives. The fact that gambling is legal in all 50 states makes it easier for many to access the game from the comfort of their own homes. In addition to gambling in casinos, sports betting also presents dangers for both men and women.
Problem gambling can have many negative effects, including social, physical, and psychological consequences. A person with a gambling addiction will feel compelled to gamble until they have lost all their money. They will also likely continue to gamble until they have nothing left, and may up their bets in an attempt to win it all back. If the problem is untreated, the consequences of gambling addiction can be serious and lasting. It can lead to depression, desperation, and even suicidal attempts.