Gambling addiction is less talked about than some of the other forms of substance abuse, but it still affects millions of people around the world. Like other forms of addiction, it can impact all aspects of a person’s life. Time is stolen, money is lost, and relationships are strained. If left untreated, gambling addiction can also lead to mental health problems like depression and anxiety.
Several treatment methods are available to address this problem, including psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is an effective method of changing the way that someone thinks about and responds to their urges. It may help the individual to confront their irrational beliefs, such as believing that a sequence of losses will be followed by a win. It can also help the individual learn to recognise triggers and avoid them.
Individuals with gambling disorder often have trouble keeping up with their financial obligations, so they may max out their credit cards and borrow to fund their addiction. They may even resort to stealing from family members, friends and co-workers to cover their debts. Eventually, this can turn into a cycle of debt and borrowing that can spiral out of control.
It is important to recognise the symptoms of a gambling problem, and seek professional advice as soon as possible. It is possible to overcome this addiction, and many people recover without relapsing. However, for a successful recovery, the right treatment program is needed. It needs to offer more than a 12-step programme, and provide a more in-depth understanding of how an individual’s mind works.