Whether it’s buying a lottery ticket, betting on sports events, playing the pokies or placing bets with friends, gambling is an activity that involves risk. While it can be a fun pastime, the positive effects are diminished in compulsive and excessive gambling. People gamble for many reasons, including the thrill of winning money, socialising or escaping from stress and worries. However, some people are unable to control their gambling and can become addicted to it. If you’re concerned about someone who is displaying problem gambling symptoms, talk with them about seeking treatment and support. There are effective treatments and support groups available for gambling addiction, such as family therapy and Gamblers Anonymous.
While some people have a low-level of tolerance to losing money, others cannot control their urge to gamble and may find themselves in debt. Some individuals have even lost their homes, families and jobs because of their gambling habits. However, there are steps that can be taken to stop unhealthy gambling and regain control of finances and relationships. Counseling is one option, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not currently approve any medications to treat gambling disorder. Some types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing, can help a person change their unhealthy thoughts and emotions and develop healthier behaviors. Other options include budgeting and finding other ways to spend time. In addition, addressing any mental health issues that may be contributing to the urge to gamble can also be beneficial.