Recognising a Gambling Addiction


Gambling is a risky behaviour that involves placing money on the outcome of an event. It can lead to addiction if you lose control of your finances, relationships or work performance. There are several types of gambling, from video poker to lottery to online casinos. It’s important to understand the risks and find treatment if you have a problem.

It is not always easy to recognise when a loved one has a gambling addiction. However, there are some warning signs that you should look out for. These include:

Being reluctant to talk about gambling with friends or family. Lying to family and friends about gambling habits. Downplaying the seriousness of your gambling problems. Relying on other people to fund your gambling habits or replace losses. Taking out loans or using credit cards to gamble. Spending large amounts of time gambling and ignoring other obligations. Gambling is often associated with other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression. Personality traits and genetic predisposition can also affect how someone responds to gambling.

The most difficult part of recovering from a gambling problem is admitting that there is a problem. However, it is a necessary step towards recovery. If you’re worried about a friend or family member, encourage them to seek professional help. Treatment options include therapy, self-help support groups and medication. A psychotherapist can teach you techniques to identify and change unhealthy emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Psychotherapy can be done alone or in group settings with other people who have similar issues.

If you’re battling an addiction to gambling, it’s important to surround yourself with positive, healthy people. It’s also important to find new hobbies and social activities that don’t involve gambling. For example, you might join a book club, take up sports or start volunteering. Hobbies are a great way to meet people and may give you the energy you need to stay away from gambling.

A gambling addiction can lead to family violence, financial ruin and even bankruptcy. It is a complex issue that can affect the entire household. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help families struggling with a gambling addiction. Some family therapy methods focus on teaching family members how to recognize and address gambling-related problems. Others address underlying factors such as trauma, coexisting mental illnesses and interpersonal difficulties.

While there are no medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat gambling disorder, there are several types of psychotherapy that can be helpful. One option is group therapy, which aims to increase self-awareness and improve communication among family members. Another is psychodynamic therapy, which looks at unconscious processes that affect behavior. Self-help support groups like Gamblers Anonymous are also available. A therapist can help you determine what type of psychotherapy is best for your needs.