How to Overcome a Gambling Addiction


Gambling is putting something of value at risk on an event or game with a chance of winning a prize. It can include a wide range of activities, from lottery tickets and other games of chance to horse races, casino games, and video poker. A person can win money or other items by gambling, and some people make a living from it. Others lose a lot of money and often find themselves in debt.

Gambling affects many aspects of society, including personal and family relationships, work performance, and the economy. Approximately three to four percent of the population reports having some type of gambling problem, and one to two percent have serious problems. These problems can lead to financial and emotional distress, and they can affect other family members as well.

While gambling has a positive economic impact on communities, it is important to recognize and avoid dangerous behaviours that can lead to a gambling addiction. Some people may be predisposed to thrill-seeking behaviour or impulsivity, which can increase the chances of a gambling addiction. Those who have a genetic predisposition for these traits should avoid playing certain types of games and should seek help if they develop problematic gambling behaviours.

The first step to overcoming a gambling addiction is admitting that you have a problem. This is a difficult step, especially if you’ve spent a lot of money and have damaged your relationships along the way. It’s important to have a strong support system in place while you are trying to break the habit.

You can find a therapist online or in person who can help you get back on track. BetterHelp is an online service that matches you with licensed, accredited therapists who can help with depression, anxiety, and relationships. It’s free to try, and you could be matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours.

If you’re struggling with a gambling addiction, it’s important to know why you gamble and how to overcome your addiction. There are a variety of reasons why people gamble, but the most common include mood change and the dream of a jackpot win. Other motives include socializing with friends, taking a break from stressful life events, and relieving boredom.

If you’re tempted to gamble, remember that there are other ways to relieve unpleasant feelings, like exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques. It’s also important to stop chasing losses, as this can backfire and make you more likely to continue gambling. You can also try different hobbies to replace your addiction, like reading a book or attending a concert.