Getting Help For Gambling Disorders

Gambling is the risking of money or something else of value on an event whose outcome depends on chance, such as a roll of the dice or a spin of the wheel. It can also involve putting money on sporting events or games of skill, such as poker or roulette.

People with a gambling problem may experience several kinds of harm. These include financial, social, emotional and health-related problems. Problem gambling can interfere with work and relationships, cause debt and even lead to bankruptcy. The behavior can have negative impacts on family members as well. Often, a person is not aware of how much harm their gambling is causing. They may downplay the problem or lie to family and friends, and rely on others for support in managing their finances. They might continue gambling even when it negatively affects their job, education or personal relationships. In addition, they might try to recoup their losses by engaging in shameful activities.

Getting help for a gambling problem is important, and there are many resources available. Those who are struggling can find strength and support by talking openly about the problem. They can also strengthen their support network by attending group therapy, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is based on the 12-step program for recovery from alcohol addiction and can provide valuable guidance and support.

There are also a variety of psychotherapies that can be helpful for those with gambling disorder, including cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy, which focuses on unconscious processes that influence behavior. In addition, it can be beneficial to get family therapy, which can help educate loved ones about the condition and create a healthier home environment.