Gambling involves a combination of chance and skill. It is a popular pastime for many people, and can be very enjoyable. However, some people become addicted to gambling and find it difficult to control their behaviour. Often, they will continue to gamble even when it is causing harm to themselves and those around them. If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.
The first step to recovery from gambling is admitting that there is a problem. It can be difficult for a person with an addiction to do this, but it is essential for their wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around them. It can also allow them to move forward in a more positive and healthy direction, as they will no longer be hiding or justifying their behaviour.
Getting help for gambling problems is available from a range of organisations, including specialist support groups. Having someone to talk to can be very helpful in helping someone overcome their addiction, and many support groups offer telephone or online support. It is also important to have alternative activities to distract someone from their gambling, such as hobbies or socialising with friends who do not gamble.
Many people who have an addiction to gambling experience a wide range of emotions, including guilt, shame and denial. It is important to remember that these feelings are normal, and not to take them out on the person who has a gambling problem. Having a supportive friend or family member can be very beneficial in helping someone recover from their gambling problems, as they will provide them with a safe space to vent their feelings and not be judged.
Another way to help someone recover from gambling is to set boundaries and ensure that they are not spending their money on gambling. This could mean limiting how much they spend, setting time limits for how long they want to spend gambling and not betting more than they can afford to lose. It is also important to not chase losses, as this can lead to bigger losses.
It is also recommended to only gamble with money that you can afford to lose, and not to use it to pay bills or other expenses. This will help you to stay in control of your gambling and not let it interfere with your daily life. It is also important to not gamble when you are feeling down or stressed, as this can make it hard to make good decisions.
In the past, psychiatric experts have regarded pathological gambling as more of a compulsion than an actual addiction. But in the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association has moved it to the same category as other impulse-control disorders, such as kleptomania and trichotillomania (hair pulling). This change means that professionals now recognise that pathological gambling is an addictive disorder.