How to Stop Gambling

Gambling is the wagering of something of value (the stakes) on a random event (the gambler’s choice) with the intent of winning something else of value, where instances of strategy are discounted. Gambling takes place in many settings, including casinos, racetracks and sporting events, but it can also take place at home on the Internet or with friends during a game of cards.

It is not known exactly why people develop a gambling problem, but there are many theories. These include a genetic predisposition, underactive brain reward systems, boredom susceptibility, an inability to control impulses and a lack of self-control. People who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol can also be at greater risk for developing a gambling addiction. In addition, people who have family members who suffer from gambling addiction may be more likely to become addicted themselves.

The most important thing for anyone who is struggling with a gambling problem is to realize they have a problem. Once this occurs, a person can begin to take steps towards recovery. Many organisations offer support and assistance for those who are causing themselves harm through gambling, whether it is financial or otherwise. These services can range from counselling and support groups to help retrain the brain to think differently about gambling and other risky activities.

A person can find help by talking to a professional therapist or other trained behavioural therapist. BetterHelp is an online therapy service that matches you with accredited therapists who can help with depression, anxiety, relationships and more. You can get matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours.

If you are worried about someone you know who is struggling with a gambling problem, talk to them. Try not to judge them and be supportive, as they will need help to overcome their addiction. If you are a family member of someone with a gambling problem, you can seek help for yourself and your loved one by attending a group for families of compulsive gamblers such as Gam-Anon. Lastly, be sure to set boundaries with your money and credit, as this will prevent you from being affected by their requests to gamble. Ultimately, the only way to stop gambling is to change harmful behaviours, and a combination of therapies and support are crucial for this.