How to Recover From Gambling

Gambling involves betting on something with an element of randomness and chance, such as a football match, scratchcard or lottery. It can also include other activities, such as online gaming and betting, and even some business-related speculation. While the chances of winning are small, many people experience an adrenalin rush when they gamble. This sense of excitement can be addictive. The first step towards recovery from gambling is recognising that you have a problem. It’s also important to seek help from a family and friend who can support you. The next step is seeking professional counselling or psychotherapy, which can help you learn to control your urges and change unhealthy behaviours. It’s also important to avoid isolation and find ways to relieve boredom and stress in healthier ways, such as exercise, socialising with friends who don’t gamble and trying out relaxation techniques.

For some people, gambling can be enjoyable, but for others it becomes a serious problem that causes them to spend more and more money, leading to debt, legal problems, health and relationship issues. It can even lead to thoughts of suicide, which is why it’s crucial for anyone with a gambling disorder to get help and support.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has a helpful page about gambling addiction and offers a free, confidential helpline. It’s also worth considering joining a gambling support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which follows a similar model to Alcoholics Anonymous and can be a great way to meet new people with the same goal of remaining free from gambling.

There are no FDA-approved medications for treating gambling disorders, but a variety of psychological therapies can help. These include psychodynamic therapy, which aims to increase self-awareness by exploring how unconscious processes influence behaviour; cognitive behavioural therapy, which helps you change negative thinking patterns; and group therapy, where you can share your experiences with other people.

There are also several self-help books and websites about gambling addiction that can provide advice. It is also important to address any underlying mental health conditions that may be contributing to your gambling problems, such as depression or anxiety. It’s also a good idea to remove triggers that make you want to gamble, such as deleting gambling apps from your phone or removing credit cards from your wallet. Finally, it’s important to retrain your brain and replace the positive and rewarding feelings you get from gambling with other healthy, more productive habits.