Gambling, by definition, involves risking something of value (such as money) in exchange for the chance at winning something else. Gambling takes many forms such as lotteries, betting on sports events, playing casino games and using pokies – for those addicted to it this may require treatment or rehabilitation to break their habit.
Most people gamble for the thrill of victory, but for some this can become an addiction that causes financial and mental health difficulties. Furthermore, gambling is always risky as odds are always against you when spending your hard-earned cash this way.
If you suspect a loved one of becoming addicted to gambling, it is essential that you try to understand their motivations for engaging in it. They could be doing it as an outlet or because it gives them confidence; whatever their reasoning, this understanding won’t excuse their behavior; but rather help you avoid condemning or becoming angry at them.
Social gambling refers to betting for recreational or social reasons – playing cards or board games with friends, or purchasing football match tickets for a few quid. This form of betting is known as social gambling and typically considered an informal form. Some professionals do make their living from it though it can be hard to tell the two apart since both involve wagering on outcomes of games or events; social gambling simply has less of an expectation of winning and may not be as lucrative.
Some individuals with mental health conditions often struggle with identifying their gambling addiction and are reluctant to seek assistance due to shame or embarrassment about their behavior, and fear of family or home loss. Yet it’s still possible to recover from gambling addiction: admitting you have one and taking steps such as psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy or joining self-help groups such as Gam-Anon are available treatments available to address it.
Finding a therapist who specializes in gambling addiction is essential, both to receive appropriate support and access the latest research on this subject matter. An inpatient or residential treatment program could also prove effective as these offer round-the-clock care for those struggling with severe gambling addictions that require immediate help.
Change in how you think about gambling can help break the cycle of unhealthy behavior. Setting boundaries and only betting with money that you can afford to lose are vital parts of this process; start small each week and increase it gradually; this way you will manage expectations more effectively while preventing yourself from over-investing in the game.