Gambling can be a fun way to relax and socialize, but it can also be addictive. If you find yourself gambling too much, you may need to get help to stop it from causing problems in your life. The good news is that there are many ways to get help.
The first step is to recognize that you have a problem. This is the hardest part, but it is crucial to your recovery. Professionals can help you figure out whether or not you have a problem and provide treatment options that may work for you.
You should keep a journal about your gambling habits and what triggers your behavior. This will help you understand why you gamble and will give you insight into how you might be able to control your impulses.
Set a limit on the amount of money you can spend on gambling and stick to it. This will not only make you more accountable, but it will prevent you from gambling money that you do not have.
Do not gamble while you are stressed or under pressure. This is a common mistake, and it can lead to problems like impulsivity, poor decision-making and reluctance to ask for help. If you are worried about your gambling, talk to a trusted friend or family member.
Try to change your environment and eliminate temptations to gamble. You can do this by changing your diet, reducing your stress level and avoiding places where you are likely to find temptations to gamble.
Consider joining a self-help support group or talking to a mental health professional. These groups offer peer support and can help you overcome your addiction.
If you have a loved one who is struggling with a gambling disorder, don’t try to solve the problem alone. A family or professional counselor can help you discuss the situation and create a plan to help your loved one stop gambling.
The latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has added pathological gambling to its list of addictions. It describes this behavior as “excessive risk taking exaggerated to an especially destructive extreme.”
Identifying when you have a problem with gambling can be difficult. This is why professionals use criteria to diagnose gambling disorders, including the DSM-5’s.
Your doctor can help you find a counselor who is experienced in treating gambling disorders. They can help you identify the root causes of your gambling, explain how it impacts your life, and help you deal with issues that have been created by your gambling habits.
Seek out a gambling support group, such as Gam-Anon. You can also visit a local treatment center or clinic to talk about your problem.
Take a look at your budget before you go to the casino or online. This will help you to set a limit on how much you can spend on gambling and will allow you to stay focused on what matters most to you, such as your family or career.