How to Spot the Signs of a Gambling Problem

Gambling involves risking something of value, such as money, on an event that is unpredictable. People gamble in casinos, racetracks, and other venues, but gambling also takes place at home or on the internet. It is important to know how to spot the signs of a problem and seek help when needed.

Gambling can trigger a variety of negative feelings, such as stress, guilt, and anxiety. It can also affect a person’s relationships with family members and friends. The behavior can even lead to a breakdown of a marriage. Some people with a gambling problem have been known to commit crimes such as forgery or fraud to finance their habit. In addition, they may lie to their therapist or family members about the extent of their involvement with gambling. They may also hide their credit card statements or rely on others to cover financial debts they incur because of gambling.

People who gamble often report feeling addicted to the rush of winning and losing, and they have a hard time quitting. They may also find themselves gambling to relieve boredom or to socialize, which can be a way of dealing with unpleasant emotions or feelings of depression. A therapist can help them explore the causes of their gambling behaviors and identify ways to reduce them. They can also suggest support groups for gamblers, such as Gamlers Anonymous, a 12-step program based on Alcoholics Anonymous. Other treatments for pathological gambling have included psychodynamic therapy, which focuses on unconscious processes that influence a person’s behavior.

Posted in: Gambling