How to Overcome a Gambling Disorder

Gambling involves staking something of value on a game or contest with an element of chance in the hope of winning. It can range from the simple buying of lottery tickets to more sophisticated casino gambling. While legal gambling is closely regulated to protect consumers, illegal gambling can cause serious harm.

The underlying mood disorders that often trigger and worsen gambling problems can also be treated with effective therapy. For example, a diagnosis of depression can help people to understand the emotional impulses that drive them to gamble. Once these underlying issues are addressed, it is much easier to stop gambling and regain control of one’s life.

In addition to helping people with a gambling problem, therapists can teach people about healthy ways to manage their finances and spend time with friends. For example, it is important to never gamble with money that you need to pay bills or rent. Also, it’s helpful to set a fixed amount of money that you are willing to play with (the gambler’s fallacy), and never chase your losses by taking out more cash to try and recoup what you have lost.

Ultimately, the biggest step in overcoming a gambling addiction is admitting that you have a problem. It takes tremendous strength and courage to do so, especially if you have lost a lot of money or strained or broken relationships in the process. However, many people who have a gambling disorder have been able to break the habit and rebuild their lives.