How to Overcome a Gambling Disorder


Gambling involves betting something of value on an outcome based on chance, such as the result of a football match or a scratchcard. It can be done individually or with others and can take a number of forms, from buying lottery tickets to playing cards for small amounts with friends. Professional gamblers make a living from gambling, often by using strategy and skill to win consistently.

People who gamble regularly are likely to experience problems, and a subset of these develop a gambling disorder that affects their daily life. Vulnerability to gambling disorder is greater among those who start gambling at a younger age and tends to run in families, suggesting there may be a genetic component. Other factors include social pressure to gamble, stress, a history of trauma and abuse, and impulsive or antisocial personality traits.

The first step to overcoming a gambling addiction is recognising that you have a problem. You will then need to seek help from a therapist who can guide you through the process of breaking the habit and rebuilding your life.

Some therapists specialise in treating gambling addiction and can offer individual therapy, group support, couples counselling and family therapy. Inpatient or residential treatment and rehab programs are also available for those who have severe problems and cannot stop gambling without round-the-clock support. For those worried about a loved one, it is important to raise the issue and help them find treatment as soon as possible.

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