Gambling involves placing a value on an event or game outcome that can be unpredictable. While many people enjoy the excitement of winning and losing money, gambling is a very addictive activity that can have devastating effects on mental health and relationships. If you find that gambling is taking over your life, seek help. There are a number of treatments available, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, which can teach you healthy coping skills and change harmful patterns of thinking. It is also important to address any underlying mood disorders that may contribute to compulsive gambling, such as depression or anxiety, which can exacerbate the problem.
Getting help for a gambling addiction is not easy, especially if you have lost large amounts of money and strained or broken relationships in the process. But remember that it is possible to overcome this difficult situation, and many other people have done so before you. If you’re able, surround yourself with positive people who can encourage and support you. Make sure to set money and time limits for yourself when you gamble, and never chase your losses. You can also limit your access to credit cards and online betting sites, or put someone else in charge of managing your finances, so that you’re not tempted by gambling urges. Also, consider joining a gambling support group, or trying a self-help technique like mindfulness or relaxation exercises. If you can’t control your impulses, consider inpatient or residential treatment for a gambling disorder.