• Home
  • Gambling Addiction

Gambling Addiction

Gambling is an activity that involves wagering something of value on a random event, often for a prize. It includes betting on games of chance such as card or board games, lotteries, slot machines and races, and speculating about business investments or stock market trends. It also includes placing bets with friends or coworkers for recreational or social reasons. The risk of problem gambling is believed to increase with the frequency, duration and intensity of involvement in any of these forms of gambling.

Some people develop an addiction to gambling as a result of other mental health or mood disorders such as depression, stress, substance abuse and anxiety. These conditions can trigger or worsen gambling behavior and make it difficult to stop, even when it leads to financial, relationship and work problems. It is possible to get help for gambling problems, including therapy and medication. There are also support groups for problem gamblers and self-help programs for families such as Gam-Anon.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on changing unhealthy gambling behaviors and thoughts, such as rationalizations and false beliefs. It can teach you how to fight your urges and solve family, marriage and work problems that are triggered or made worse by gambling. Treatment can include addressing any underlying mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety. You can also learn healthier ways to soothe unpleasant feelings, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques. Inpatient or residential treatment and rehab programs are available for those with severe problem gambling.