How to Avoid Gambling Problems

Gambling is a popular form of entertainment, but some people are more prone to becoming addicted than others. It can harm physical health, financial security and relationships, cause depression and even lead to suicide. According to Public Health England, more than 400 suicides are linked to gambling problems each year. It can also lead to debt and homelessness.

People can develop a problem with all forms of gambling, including casino games, lotteries and sports betting. The risk of addiction can be heightened by personality traits and coexisting mental health conditions, like mood disorders, stress or substance abuse. People who are more impulsive and have trouble controlling their emotions may be more susceptible to gambling.

There are several types of therapy that can help people overcome gambling disorder, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy and family therapy. Some people can stop their problem gambling behaviors on their own, but most need some sort of treatment.

If you are struggling with problem gambling, try to find other ways to enjoy your free time and feel good. Spending time with friends, enrolling in a class or volunteering for a worthy cause can help you feel good without the need to gamble. Getting help from family and friends can also be helpful, and it is important to have a strong support system in place. You can also join a support group such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is similar to Alcoholics Anonymous and offers peer-to-peer help.