How to Treat a Gambling Disorder

How to Treat a Gambling Disorder

Gambling is an activity in which a person risks something of value on an event with a chance of winning or losing. The risk may be money, property or personal relationships. People gamble in a variety of ways, including playing games of chance, betting on sports events, playing card games and engaging in recreational activities such as marbles or Pogs (collectible game pieces). The exact rules and regulations vary by state and country, but generally, gambling involves placing a wager for a fixed prize.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has not approved any medications to treat gambling disorder, but several types of psychotherapy can help. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, teaches people to change unhealthy behaviors and thoughts. It can also teach them to manage anxiety and other mental health conditions that may be contributing to their gambling problems.

Another type of therapy is psychodynamic therapy, which examines the unconscious processes that contribute to a person’s behavior. A psychodynamic therapist can help a person understand why they gamble and how their past experiences influence their current behavior. Other types of therapy that can help are family, group and marriage counseling. These types of therapy can provide motivation and moral support, helping a person break their gambling addiction and address issues that have hampered relationships and careers.

In addition to psychotherapy, a person who has a gambling problem should work with a financial counselor to develop a budget and learn how to manage their finances. People who struggle with gambling can often spend more money than they have, which can lead to debt and other financial difficulties. In addition, a person who struggles with gambling disorder may use gambling as a way to avoid dealing with emotions such as depression or anxiety.

The most difficult step in treating a gambling problem is admitting that you have a problem. It can be painful and embarrassing to reveal that you have a gambling disorder, especially if it has caused you significant financial loss or damaged your relationships. But admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

If you have a gambling disorder, the best thing you can do is to seek treatment. Seek out a therapist who specializes in problem gambling and is licensed and vetted. Psychologist Today can help you find a therapist who meets your specific needs in your area. In just a few easy steps, you can be on your way to recovering from a gambling addiction and living a healthier life. Start by filling out our simple online questionnaire and we will match you with a therapist in as little as 48 hours. It’s free and confidential. Get started today.