Gambling disorder is a chronic problem with excessive gambling that causes significant harm to a person’s life. People with this disorder are preoccupied with gambling and may gamble when they are upset or need to “get even”. They may lie about how much they are gambling and use the money from others. Symptoms of this disorder can range from mild to severe, and the best way to find help for your gambling problem is to call 1-800-GAMBLER. This confidential service can help you stop gambling and restore your life.
Family and friends are your first line of defense against a gambling addiction. But if you’re a spouse or partner, you should make sure that you’re not punishing your partner for their problems. If your partner is also suffering from this problem, you may want to find ways to encourage and support them. It can be helpful to involve them in activities they enjoy outside of gambling. In addition to reaching out to family and friends, you may also want to enroll in an education course or volunteer for a worthy cause. And finally, you can join a gambling addiction peer support group like Gam-Anon. This 12-step program is similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, but instead of having a leader, each person has a sponsor, a former gambler who can give guidance and support.
Those with gambling problems may also struggle with boredom or other difficult emotions. If you are a frequent gambler, you may feel that you need to gamble more often to experience the same “high” you had before. This behavior can spiral out of control, with the increased craving leading to a weakened ability to resist. It can also have serious social and professional repercussions. However, the benefits of treatment are significant and deserve the attention that they deserve.