How to Recognize a Gambling Addiction
While gambling is often considered a harmless pastime, it can be a dangerous habit if done in an overly indulgent manner. Problem gambling is also often referred to as a hidden addiction because there are usually no outward signs. Although gambling addiction can be painful, it is possible to find help. Here are some tips for identifying when you may be suffering from gambling addiction. Having some knowledge about the risks associated with gambling can help you make wise decisions about your gaming habits.
As of the DSM-5, gambling disorder was classified as a behavioral addiction. This means that it involves placing an item of value, such as money, in a game of chance. Gambling is common among all age groups, but it is especially dangerous among veterans, Latino and Asian populations. Although the rate of problem gambling is low, it does affect these populations. This is because gambling disorders are more prevalent in these populations, despite the fact that there are no statistics to support this.
While gambling addiction can have serious consequences, it can also have a psychological cause. Some people develop compulsive gambling as a side effect of a mood disorder. If your mood disorder becomes exacerbated by gambling, it can persist even if you stop. Fortunately, there are many options for treatment. Behavioral therapy may be an effective way to treat the compulsive nature of gambling. Self-help groups are another good option for people with compulsive gambling.
Managing the money you spend on gambling is an important decision. You must resist the urge to spend money and keep your bank account under control. Keeping cash on hand is also important. It is better to keep a limited amount of cash than to lose everything. Gambling is an expensive pastime, so you must budget for it and set a limit. If you have no money to spare, the temptation to spend it is very strong. So, it is best to keep your money under control by getting rid of your credit cards. You can also make automatic payments to your bank.
The first step in treating gambling addiction is seeking help. Talk to family members, friends, or a health professional. They can provide counseling to help you cope with the disorder. Often, a gambling problem is not an isolated problem, and family members can help each other in coping with the situation. Additionally, if your spouse or partner has a gambling problem, it is important to acknowledge their positive qualities, even if they don’t gamble themselves.
The next step in overcoming gambling addiction is to find a support network. Reach out to family and friends, and try to make new friends outside of gambling. Volunteer for a worthwhile cause, and join peer support groups. Consider joining Gamblers Anonymous, a twelve-step program modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous. You will also need a sponsor, a former gambler who can provide guidance and motivation. Ultimately, it is important to seek professional help, but remember that you are not alone in the battle against gambling addiction.