Gambling Disorder – How to Recognize the Signs of Gambling Disorder in a Loved One
Gambling is the wagering of something of value, usually money, on an event that has a random outcome. It is a form of entertainment that can be dangerous for some people. For those who have a gambling disorder, it can cause serious financial, social, and emotional problems. It is important for family members to know how to recognize the signs of gambling disorder in a loved one. It is also important to find support for yourself and your loved one. Depending on the situation, you may need to seek help from a counselor or other professionals.
Many people gamble for personal pleasure, such as spending time with friends, watching sports, and traveling. However, others do it for the chance to win a large sum of money. They often believe they can beat the odds and beat the casino or bookmaker. This is a false belief and can lead to addiction. Regardless of why you gamble, there are steps you can take to stop.
The first step is to speak up about the issue. It can be difficult to admit you have a problem, especially to those closest to you. However, ignoring the problem can make it worse. You may even find yourself lying to your loved ones about how much you’re gambling or hiding evidence of your behavior.
Taking control of your finances is another way to prevent a relapse. If you have joint or shared credit cards, consider taking over the card for a while to keep your loved one accountable. You can also set boundaries and stick to them by only gambling with disposable income and never using funds needed for bills, rent, or food. Moreover, you should limit the amount of time you spend gambling and not play when you are depressed or upset.
It is also a good idea to learn to relieve unpleasant feelings in healthier ways. People who gamble often do so to feel less lonely or bored, after a stressful day at work or following an argument with their spouse. However, there are many healthy and effective ways to manage stress and boredom, including exercise, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, and practicing relaxation techniques.
Psychotherapy is a type of treatment that can help you identify and change unhealthy emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It can be done in individual therapy, group therapy, or family therapy. It is important to note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved any medications to treat gambling disorder, but several types of psychotherapy have been shown to be effective. Some of these include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and motivational interviewing. In addition, many states have gambling helplines and assistance programs. For additional help and support, you can also join a support group such as Gamblers Anonymous. There are also counseling services available through many healthcare providers and private agencies. They can help you with the underlying issues and teach you coping skills to overcome the gambling disorder.