How to Overcome Gambling Addiction

Gambling is risking money or something else of value on an event where the outcome depends mainly on chance. You can gamble on sports events, TV shows, lotteries and scratchcards, or in casinos, arcades and pubs. People gamble for fun, to win money and even for the thrill of it. But some people become addicted to gambling and are unable to control their spending or stop gambling. This is called gambling disorder.

Gambling addiction is a serious problem that needs treatment. It affects both women and men, young and old, rich and poor, and can start at any age. It is a complex illness that can be hard to diagnose and treat, but there are ways to help.

The first step is to recognise that you have a problem. If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be gambling too much, contact us. We can offer you advice and support to overcome your gambling problems and restore your life.

It’s important to recognise the symptoms of gambling disorder, which include hiding your activity or lying about it; being secretive or defensive about how much you gamble; and constantly trying to win back money you have lost. You might also try to justify your gambling or convince yourself that it’s a harmless form of entertainment. Many people with a gambling disorder are not aware that their behaviour is harmful or don’t believe they have a problem.

There are different types of gambling disorder and a range of treatments available. Some are self-help and involve a combination of changes to your environment and behavioural change. Others involve counselling, psychotherapy or family therapy. For some people, a residential rehabilitation programme is needed.

The first thing to do is get rid of any credit cards and other sources of money that can be used to gamble. Then set a budget for yourself and stick to it. You should never use money that you need for essentials, such as rent or food.

It’s a good idea to join a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, where you can meet other people who have similar issues and learn how to cope. You can also seek individual, couple or family therapy to work through the underlying issues that cause you to gamble and heal your relationships.

You can also try a new hobby, spend time with friends or take up a physical activity that doesn’t involve a screen or the internet. You could also try talking to your GP about your concerns or registering for a Let’s Talk session on AcademicLiveCare. This is a free service for all students, staff and faculty that allows you to book a virtual counseling or psychiatry appointment. You can even access this from your mobile phone or tablet. The service is available round the clock.