Gambling is a form of risk-taking where an individual places something of value on an event that has an element of randomness or chance. This can involve betting on sports events, casino games, poker, bingo, or even buying scratchcards. While gambling is often seen as an entertaining pastime, it can have serious consequences for individuals and their families. In this article, we explore some of the ways that people can develop a gambling problem and how professional treatment can help them overcome it.
The most obvious way to recognise a gambling problem is when a person starts to gamble with money that they could use for bills or everyday living expenses. This can lead to financial difficulties and debt. If this is the case, it’s important to seek financial advice.
Another way to identify a gambling addiction is when a person is constantly thinking about their next wager. This is a clear sign that they need to get help. There are a number of treatments available for people who have a gambling disorder, including cognitive-behaviour therapy and family therapy. These therapies can help people understand their thoughts and emotions and learn to cope with them in a healthier way. They can also learn to confront irrational beliefs, such as the belief that a series of losses means that they are due for a win.
Those who are struggling with a gambling addiction can benefit from a residential treatment programme. This gives them the time, space and support that they need to break free from this addictive behaviour. During the course of a treatment programme, participants will have the opportunity to take part in group and one-to-one therapy sessions, seminars and workshops. This will help them to address the impact that their gambling addiction has had on their life and the lives of those around them, identify triggers for their addictive behaviour and gain coping strategies to manage it going forward.
Another option for those who are struggling with gambling is to self-exclude from venues and websites where they can bet. This can help to stop them from accessing sites and will also prevent them from receiving any marketing material that may be triggering for them. There are a variety of schemes that offer this service and more information can be found here.