Gambling can be fun and exciting, but it can also be very unhealthy. It can interfere with work and relationships and can lead to huge debts. Whether you are a gambler or someone who has a gambling problem, it is important to understand the risk factors and what you can do to help yourself.
In the United States, a lot of people gamble. About 20 million of them have an addiction to gambling that has become a major part of their life. Luckily, a few organizations offer support for gambling problems.
These include Gamblers Anonymous, which is patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. There are also support groups for problem gamblers, which use peer support to help people stop their behavior.
You can also seek counseling for your gambling problem. Some counseling services are free and confidential. Others are available through community or state agencies. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can contact the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Some of the most effective treatments for gambling addiction are cognitive-behavioral therapy and group therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches you to resist your urges and overcome unwanted thoughts. Group therapy is a way for you to discuss your problems with other members.
Counselling can be helpful, but it is not a replacement for tackling the problem head on. Problem gamblers should find other ways to relieve stress, including exercise, relaxation techniques and spending time with friends and family who don’t gamble.
Admitting that you have a gambling problem is not always easy, but it is an important step in the right direction. This will not only help you work through the issues, but it will give you a chance to reach out to other people who can provide support.