Gambling is any activity that involves risking money for the hope of winning it back. Many people gamble for fun, to relieve stress, to socialize or to challenge themselves. But it is also an addictive behavior that can lead to gambling disorder and other mental health problems.
Symptoms of gambling disorder may appear as early as adolescence or as late in life as older adulthood. It can be triggered by family or friend influence, a personality disorder, depression or anxiety. It is more common in men than women, but both genders are susceptible to it.
Treatment for problem gambling often includes individual, group and family therapy. Some types of therapy can help you identify the underlying cause of your problem and learn to manage your emotions and impulses that drive your gambling.
Set boundaries for your gambling and stick to them. Use a budget and keep track of how much you spend on gambling each month.
Don’t let yourself go into debt to pay for your gambling. If you need to borrow money, talk with a financial planner about how to get the best interest rate.
Seek help for other mood disorders that might be triggering your gambling, such as depression or stress. These disorders can make your gambling more difficult to stop.
If you think you or a loved one might have a gambling problem, seek help right away. It can be a challenging process, but it is worth the effort to overcome this addiction and prevent it from taking over your life.