Problem gambling can have negative emotional, physical, and social consequences. It is classified as an impulse-control disorder and can lead to other conditions, such as depression and migraine. A person who engages in problem gambling may also feel helpless and depressed, which can lead to attempts at suicide. Ultimately, there is no known cure for gambling addiction. However, therapy is one way to help combat the urge to gamble. Cognitive behavioural therapy can teach an individual how to change their thinking patterns to help prevent problems and reduce their gambling urges.
While gambling is an addictive activity, it should only be used occasionally or for social occasions. It should be treated as a form of entertainment, not an addiction. Nevertheless, if you find yourself constantly losing money, you may want to consider quitting gambling. In addition, it may help to understand the reasons why you gamble, as this knowledge will help you make changes in your behaviour. To help you kick the gambling habit, many organisations offer support and counselling for problem gamblers.
Once you have identified that you have a gambling problem, the next step is strengthening your support network. Relatives and friends can help you overcome the urge to gamble, as can volunteer work and education classes. You may also want to consider joining a peer support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous. This 12-step program is modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous. Each member is required to identify a “sponsor” – a former gambler who can provide guidance and support.