Dealing With Gambling Problems
Gambling is a form of entertainment that can involve risking money or valuables in the hope of winning something else of value. It can also include betting on sporting events. But it’s important to keep in mind that gambling isn’t always healthy. And if you or a loved one has a problem with gambling, it’s crucial to seek treatment.
Problem gambling affects two to four percent of the U.S. population, and has been linked to depression and anxiety. In addition, it can cause significant problems in a person’s personal relationships. Some gamblers also experience suicidal ideation.
Gambling disorder can have serious consequences for a person’s finances, work, and personal relationships. A few states offer help lines and other resources for those who are struggling with gambling. Also, there are support groups that provide peer assistance to help those with gambling issues. These programs often use a 12-step approach, similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. Those with problems should avoid using drugs and alcohol, and should continue to work toward recovery.
Often, problem gambling is triggered by mood disorders such as depression. The disorder can remain even after the person stops gambling. While medications may treat co-occurring conditions, they do not cure gambling disorders.
Despite the potential dangers of gambling, the disorder is common. The amount of money legally wagered annually is estimated to be about $10 trillion. This is a huge figure, and it’s likely that illegal gambling can exceed this number as well. However, this doesn’t mean that you should take your chances. There are many things that you can do to keep your finances from falling apart.
One way to stop your gambling habit is to set boundaries with your money. You don’t want to micromanage your problem gambler’s impulses, but you do need to set limits on how much you spend and when you can gamble. When you do gamble, you should have someone else oversee your accounts.
Gambling can be a fun way to socialize, but it can become a source of financial trouble. If you’re losing money, you should try to get some extra money from friends or family. Getting rid of your credit cards and having your bank automatically make payments for you is a good way to keep your finances in order.
Even if you’re only occasionally having a hard time with gambling, it’s still important to consider the impact it has on your life. The more you know about it, the more you’ll be able to recognize when it’s time to give up. That way, you won’t be as tempted to relapse.
If you’re in a difficult situation, you might also want to speak to a counselor. Many professionals in the field of mental health have developed diagnostic criteria to determine if a person is suffering from a problem with gambling. They will work with you to address your needs and guide you through your issues.
Having a problem with gambling can be very overwhelming. Fortunately, it is possible to overcome your addiction, and to find a new, healthier way to cope with stress.