Gambling is an addictive behavior that can lead to many problems, from financial ruin to social and emotional turmoil. While problem gambling is typically classified as impulse control disorder, it may also be a form of self-soothing. Problem gamblers may experience migraine, abdominal disorders, and distress. They may also experience feelings of despondency, helplessness, and even attempts at suicide. However, while many people who have an addiction to gambling are responsible, others are not.
Although gambling has been around for centuries, it has been suppressed in many areas for almost as long. Throughout the early 20th century, gambling was nearly universally outlawed in the U.S., and it spawned many criminal organizations and mafia. In recent years, attitudes toward gambling have softened, and laws governing gambling have been relaxed. However, the temptation to gamble is still there, and there are several things that you can do to stop yourself from becoming a statistic.
The first step to recovery from a gambling addiction is to strengthen your social support system. Try to regain contact with your family and friends. Find new friends outside of gambling. Volunteer for a good cause. Finally, join a peer support group. For example, there is Gamblers Anonymous, which uses a 12-step approach to recovery similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. You can choose a sponsor, a former gambler who can offer guidance.