How to Prevent Gambling Addiction

Imagine you’re in a twinkly casino, filling up on free cocktails and hoping for lady luck to smile down on you. Gambling is a fun pastime that can offer a thrill when things go your way, but it’s not something to take lightly. It can lead to addiction and ruin your finances, your health, and your relationships with loved ones. If you’re struggling with gambling addiction, there are many resources available to help you overcome it.

The first step is admitting that you have a problem. While it may be painful to admit, a lot of people have been in your shoes and were able to break the cycle and rebuild their lives. There are a number of different treatment options including therapy and support groups. There are also specialized programs and medications that can be used to treat problem gambling.

Psychologist Sean Sullivan, who studies the psychology of gambling, has identified several risk factors for developing an addiction to gambling. These include: an early big win, boredom susceptibility, impulsivity, a poor understanding of random events, use of escape coping and stressful life experiences. These risk factors can work together to cause an addictive pattern of behavior where the gambler expects to replicate an early big win, and keeps going until they lose everything.

There are a few key tips that you can follow to help stop gambling addiction. You should always start with a fixed amount of money that you are willing to lose, and don’t exceed that amount. Whether you’re playing in person or online, it is important to set limits and stick to them. It’s also a good idea to set up separate bank accounts for your gambling. This way, you can track your spending and limit access to funds that could be used for other purposes.

Another way to prevent gambling addiction is to set aside a specific amount of time for it and to focus on other activities during that time. It’s also important to avoid gambling while you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The brain is more vulnerable to impulses and addiction when it’s impaired.

A person with a gambling addiction will often hide their habit, lying to friends and family about how much they gamble or even keeping their cards hidden. They might even lie about their debts in a bid to get back the money they’ve lost. If you’re noticing any of these behaviors in yourself or a family member, reach out to BetterHelp. They’ll match you with a licensed therapist who can help.

The main goal of gambling disorder treatment is to reverse the changes that occur in the brain when a person is gambling. This is done through various types of therapy, such as group therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Medications are also sometimes used to treat co-occurring conditions, such as depression or anxiety. The most important thing is to seek help, as soon as you realize that gambling has become a problem.