If you have been gambling and losing more money than you can afford or if your addiction is affecting your life in other ways, it may be time to seek help. Your doctor or a licensed therapist can help you identify your addiction and recommend treatment options.
Whether you need professional help or a self-help program, therapy can help you break the cycle of compulsive gambling. A therapist can also teach you to control your urges and deal with any underlying emotional issues that could contribute to problem gambling. One common approach to treating addiction is cognitive behavioural therapy, which teaches you to challenge irrational beliefs like the notion that a streak of losses or a near miss on a slot machine will lead to a big win.
Gambling addiction can be devastating to your financial health and relationships, so it is important to get help as soon as possible. You should consider inpatient or residential treatment programs if you can’t control your gambling habits without around-the-clock support. Other treatment options include outpatient rehabilitation, where you attend classes at a facility while continuing to live at home and work, and support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is based on the 12-step model of Alcoholics Anonymous.
If you are concerned that a loved one has a gambling problem, it’s important to talk with them in a nonjudgmental way about your concerns. Staging an intervention can be intimidating, but it’s important to communicate clearly that their gambling is causing you pain and that you want them to get help.