Gambling involves placing something of value on the outcome of a random event that relies on chance. It can include anything from a wager on a football match to buying a scratchcard. If the gambler predicts the outcome correctly they win money, but if they get it wrong then they lose money. It is important to note that gambling can be extremely addictive and it may cause serious harm to your finances, health, family and relationships. If you suspect that you have a problem, seek help immediately.
A gambling disorder is a condition that affects how a person behaves when they gamble. It is an impulse control disorder and a serious addiction that requires professional treatment. People who suffer from gambling disorders often have problems at work, school and home. They can also be at risk of losing their life savings and putting themselves in financial difficulties.
The most important thing to remember is that gambling is not a surefire way to make money. The odds of winning are very low and it is more likely that you will lose than to win. There are better ways to spend your spare time and money, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or even getting non-judgemental support by calling the GamCare helpline.
Getting professional help is essential to breaking the gambling habit and changing your life for the better. Treatment can be difficult to begin but it is worth it in the long run. A therapist can teach you techniques to cope with your urges and develop healthier coping mechanisms. They can also offer relationship, family and credit counseling to help you rebuild your damaged relationships and repair your finances.
In the past, the psychiatric community viewed pathological gambling as an impulse-control disorder, a fuzzy category that included kleptomania (stealing) and pyromania (throwing things). But now, the American Psychiatric Association has moved it to the section on addictive behaviors in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
This shows that the psychiatric community now believes that pathological gambling is truly an addictive behavior. This shift may be the result of newer research into the biology of addiction and its treatment.
While there are many reasons why people gamble, it is important to recognize when your gambling habits are damaging your life and seek help. It takes a lot of strength to admit that you have a problem, especially if your gambling has caused strained or broken relationships and significant financial losses. But it is possible to regain control of your life and recover from the damage that gambling has caused. If you are struggling with a gambling disorder, reach out to a therapist today. You can be matched with a licensed and vetted therapist in less than 48 hours. Just fill out the form above.