How to Recognize a Gambling Disorder


Gambling is a game of chance in which you have to wager something of value on a random event. You may choose to bet on a sporting event, a game of chance, or a horse race. If you win, you receive a prize. The gambler often plays to get even, or to win money. If the bet is wrong, the bettor loses the money.

Gambling is one of the most common forms of entertainment in the United States. Many people gamble for fun, for social rewards, or for intellectual challenge. However, it can become problematic if it begins to interfere with daily life. This condition is often referred to as gambling disorder. It can affect your mental health and your relationships. Getting treatment can help you address the reasons why you began gambling and can provide a path to recovery.

When a problem gambler is in recovery, it is important to take a proactive approach in preventing a relapse. A strong support system is an essential element of a successful recovery. It is also important to learn from past mistakes and continue working toward recovery. Some ways to build a strong support system are to reach out to family members and friends, enroll in education classes, volunteer for good causes, and participate in a peer support group.

Admitting that you have a problem is the first step towards getting help. A gambling addiction can create a great deal of stress and tension in your life. It is best to let someone you trust know that you are experiencing problems with gambling. Having a sponsor can provide guidance and motivation.

There are several types of therapy available to treat gambling disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you change your unhealthy behaviors. Other therapies include group therapy and family therapy. Counseling can help you solve problems, understand your gambling, and learn coping skills.

Problem gambling can be a sign of a mood disorder. Symptoms of a gambling disorder can appear as early as adolescence. Symptoms can occur when gambling becomes a routine part of a person’s life, and can remain even after gambling stops. Some of the risk factors for a gambling disorder include trauma, social inequality, and broader developmental issues.

When it comes to recognizing a problem gambler, most mental health professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria. Although there are no FDA-approved medications for treating gambling disorders, therapy can be helpful.

Managing your finances is an important part of coping with a gambling disorder. Set limits and stay accountable. Consider the potential consequences of gambling and avoid putting yourself in an expensive position. You can also find assistance through a national helpline or other resources. If your gambling has become an issue in your family, you should consult with them to learn how to help. Having a family member on your side is critical to overcoming a gambling addiction.

Depending on the severity of the gambling disorder, there are different types of treatment. Some include medications and lifestyle changes. Others include therapy and counseling.