Recovering From Gambling Addiction
Whether it is a game of chance or skill, gambling can be an exciting way to unwind. But gambling can also be an addictive activity that can be a problem for some people. Gambling addiction, or pathological gambling, is associated with a number of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Those who are recovering from gambling addiction should work on a variety of strategies to prevent relapse.
First, people with gambling problems should learn to set boundaries around their finances. If a gambling problem is diagnosed, a person must stop gambling and find healthier activities to replace gambling. Using credit cards to gamble can be dangerous. If a person is addicted to gambling, it is best to get rid of all credit cards and keep a small amount of cash on hand.
Second, problem gamblers should work on the underlying cause of their addiction. This can be done by counseling with a psychologist or psychiatrist. In some cases, people can get help from a family therapist, marriage counselor or peer support group. This is a confidential treatment option that can be effective for people with gambling addiction.
Third, problem gamblers can benefit from participating in a 12-step recovery program, such as Gamblers Anonymous. These programs are modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous and offer a structured program with a supportive group of former addicts. Many of these programs are free and open to the public.
Besides seeking professional help, people with gambling addiction can also enroll in a number of educational programs. They can also work to improve their life through volunteer work. Keeping a positive mental attitude will help them recover from their addiction. Often, people with gambling addiction have difficulty achieving and maintaining recovery. The best way to stay in recovery is to surround yourself with accountability and avoid temptations.
Finally, people in recovery must learn to avoid gambling environments. Using the Internet to gamble increases a person’s vulnerability to relapse. Gambling tourism can lead to illegal gambling activities in areas where gambling is not legal. To avoid a relapse, people with gambling addiction should find healthy activities to replace gambling. They can participate in sports, volunteer work, or attend education classes.
People who gamble should expect to lose. They should also expect that it will take them some time to recover from their gambling addiction. Gambling addiction is a progressive disorder that can worsen with time. It can also have a negative impact on a person’s family relationships. When a family member or friend notices that a person is having trouble controlling their gambling, they should offer support. Providing support is important for problem gamblers, as they need to be able to trust and depend on their loved ones.
Depending on the specific health risks associated with gambling, the relative importance of evaluating gambling behavior may vary. Some studies have shown that people who are framed as having a health condition may be less likely to develop a gambling problem. But more research is needed on health effects of gambling.