Gambling addiction is a type of compulsive behavior that can cause significant psychological, personal, family, and professional problems. It can also lead to serious financial and health-related issues. The risk of gambling addiction increases if a person has other mental health concerns, like depression or anxiety.
People with a gambling problem may lie to friends and family, spend more money than they have, or steal to fund their addiction. They may also “chase losses,” which means they try to win back the money they lost. In some cases, gambling addiction causes people to feel restless and irritable. Some people even get into debt or unable to pay their bills.
There are several treatment options available for people who have a gambling disorder. Psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing, can help people recognize and modify their negative thinking patterns. Treatment centers can provide inpatient or outpatient care. Some programs last weeks to months. In addition, there are many support groups for people with gambling addiction, such as Gamblers Anonymous. These groups follow a similar 12-step program as Alcoholics Anonymous and are free to join.
To reduce the chances of relapse, it is important to remove yourself from situations that trigger gambling urges. This might mean staying away from friends and family members who gamble or not going to casinos or other gambling establishments. It is also important to avoid using credit cards, and to only use cash for daily expenses.