How to Overcome a Gambling Addiction


Gambling is an activity where you put something of value, such as money or your time, at risk in order to win a prize. It can be a fun pastime, but it can also have serious consequences. Compulsive gambling can cause problems with your family and friends, affect your physical and mental health, performance at work or study and even leave you homeless. In the UK, problem gambling has been linked to over 400 suicides per year. It can also cause financial ruin and serious debt.

Some people are more at risk of developing a gambling addiction than others. Certain personal traits and coexisting mental health conditions may increase your likelihood of becoming addicted to gambling, including depression, stress or anxiety. Some studies also suggest that genetic factors contribute to the risk of developing a gambling disorder.

You can help reduce your risk of gambling addiction by only ever gambling with disposable income and never using funds that you need to pay bills or rent. You should also try to avoid gambling environments that make it easy for you to get lost in the games and lose track of time. Instead, allocate a specific amount of money to gamble with and set an alarm when that sum is spent. This will allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment when the money is gone and ensure that you don’t keep gambling just because you’re losing.

The first step in overcoming a gambling addiction is admitting that you have a problem. This can be a difficult step, especially if you’ve lost a lot of money or damaged relationships as a result of your gambling habits. You may feel like you’re the only one who has this problem, but reaching out for support can make you realize that many others have successfully overcome gambling addictions.

There are no medications approved by the FDA to treat gambling disorders, but psychotherapy (a term that refers to a variety of treatment techniques) can be helpful. Psychotherapy can help you identify unhealthy thoughts and behaviors and learn new ways of dealing with them. Some types of psychotherapy include cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy.

Some religions oppose gambling, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Members Church of God International. These groups believe that gambling can lead to sin and destruction. In addition, the Bible teaches that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” (Matthew 6:33) In other words, it’s not good to be obsessed with money. Getting help for a gambling problem is not easy, but it’s possible to break the habit and rebuild your life. You’ll just need to be patient and take it one step at a time. You can start by removing credit cards from your home, asking someone else to manage your money and closing online betting accounts. You can also try to distract yourself from the urge to gamble by exercising, practicing relaxation exercises or simply postponing the action until the craving passes.