Recovering From Gambling
Gambling involves wagering something of value on the outcome of a game of chance, such as a scratchcard or casino game. The outcome can either be a profit or loss, depending on how well you predict the odds of winning. Problem gambling changes the brain’s reward pathway, making it difficult to control impulses and to weigh risks and rewards.
Some people are genetically predisposed to thrill-seeking behaviours and impulsivity, but other factors, like family, culture and education can also play a role. Often, people who are addicted to gambling find it hard to seek help, particularly if their addiction causes them financial hardship and/or strained or broken relationships.
In addition, if they have been able to achieve some success and gain a sense of achievement they may feel they need to keep going to maintain this feeling or even increase it. This is exacerbated by the fact that the betting industry promotes their wares through advertising on TV, social media and wall-to-wall sponsorship of football clubs, ensuring they are always visible to potential gamblers.
The biggest step towards recovery from gambling is admitting you have a problem. It takes courage and strength to overcome this, especially if you’ve lost a lot of money or if your gambling has caused strained or broken relationships. If you’re ready to take the next step, there are many resources available to help. One option is psychotherapy, a form of treatment that helps you identify unhealthy emotions and thoughts and change them. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t approve any medications to treat gambling disorder, but there are a number of types of psychotherapy that can be helpful, including psychodynamic therapy and group therapy.