Gambling is a fun social activity or novelty that many people enjoy on occasion. However, gambling may be a problem if the habit is regarded as more than a hobby and begins to interfere with everyday life. In such cases, the person might need help to stop or change the behavior. There are many organisations that provide help to people with gambling problems and support to the family members of those who are addicted to gambling. In addition, there are several ways to recognize the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction.
The first step to get help for your gambling problem is to strengthen your social support system. Try to spend time with friends and family who do not engage in gambling. You can also try to make new friends outside of the addiction, enroll in classes, volunteer for a good cause, and join peer support groups. There is also a 12-step gambling addiction recovery program called Gamblers Anonymous. To join, you need to identify a sponsor, a former gambler who can offer guidance and support.
A few warning signs of gambling disorder include borrowing money to fund gambling and repay debts. Family members may also notice personality changes or long absences from home. Adolescents may show different warning signs, such as irregular work schedules or borrowing money to pay off gambling debts. Gambling can affect health, and if it is not recognized early, treatment can be difficult. Despite the dangers of gambling, the benefits and risks of this addiction are well known.