Help For Gambling Disorders

Gambling is the wagering of something of value, usually money, on an event that has an element of randomness or chance. People gamble for many reasons, including the adrenaline rush of winning money, socialising and escaping from worries or stress. But for some, gambling becomes a dangerous habit that can cause harm to their mental health, family and finances. If you think your gambling is out of control, seek help.

The majority of people who gamble responsibly do so for entertainment. They play card games like poker, blackjack or spades with friends and family in a home setting, place bets on football matches or horse races through an online betting company or use the lottery. But a small percentage of individuals develop problem gambling and become hooked on the thrill of betting or their dreams of winning the jackpot. Problem gambling affects people from all walks of life, regardless of race or religion, education level or income. It can start in adolescence or later in adulthood and is equally as likely to occur in rural or urban areas. Often, individuals with pathological gambling have genetic or psychological predispositions that lead to excessive gambling and can be triggered by stressful events or losses.

Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is an effective treatment for a gambling disorder. This type of therapy can include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy and other types of group or individual therapy. It’s also important to address any other mental health conditions that may be contributing to the problem.