Treatment For Gambling Disorders

Gambling is when you risk money or something of value (like a prize) on an event that involves chance. This can be done in a variety of ways, from betting on football matches to scratchcards. If you predict the outcome correctly, you win money, but if you are wrong, you lose it. This is a form of entertainment for some people, but for others it can become an addiction that causes financial problems.

Approximately 1 in 10 Americans has a gambling problem and may need treatment. In addition, there are a number of other factors that can contribute to problematic gambling, including mental health disorders and the environment where you live.

Problem gambling can affect anyone, but it is more common in certain groups of people. It is more common in men than women and it tends to run in families, suggesting that there is a genetic link. It is also more likely if you have other mental health problems, such as depression or bipolar disorder, and it can increase the risk of suicide.

There are a number of different treatments for gambling disorders, but the most effective is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This type of psychotherapy examines your beliefs about betting and how these influence your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It can help you learn healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with unpleasant emotions and how to relax in healthy ways. CBT can also teach you skills to manage your finances, such as budgeting and spending less than you earn.

In addition to individual CBT, group therapy can be helpful for people with gambling disorders. Group therapy is based on the 12-step model of Alcoholics Anonymous and it provides an opportunity to discuss your problems with other people who have similar issues. This can give you the motivation and moral support you need to overcome your problem.

Other types of treatment for gambling disorders include family therapy and marriage, career and credit counseling. These types of counseling can help you address the specific issues that are causing you to gamble and create a more stable home life. You can also seek support from a gambling disorder support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous. You can find local gambling disorder support groups by using an online directory, or contacting your state’s gambling helpline. You can also speak to StepChange, which offers free debt advice for people with mental health problems. The advice you receive is confidential and can help you get back on track with your finances. It is also important to build a strong support network and look for other ways to have fun that don’t involve gambling. These could include joining a book club, taking up a hobby or spending time with friends who don’t gamble. You can also try to distract yourself if you feel the urge to gamble by going for a walk or exercising. Keeping your brain busy can help reduce the desire to gamble and will allow you to make better choices in the future.