Gambling is the voluntary wagering on an event with an unknown outcome with the objective of winning some other thing of equal or greater value. It involves risks and so requires three elements for it to occur: risk, consideration, and a reward. It is also known as ‘poker gambling’ in the United States, although many other countries use ‘gambling’ to refer to the same activity. Gambling can take many different forms. For example, gambling at a racecourse may involve placing bets on the winner; but in the UK, ‘gambling’ generally refers to betting on horse racing.
One of the main characteristics of gambling addiction is the fact that the person has an uncontrollable and unwavering need for the reward which is normally associated with their activity. This need for the reward is not usually strong enough to keep the person gambling indefinitely, but without it the person would find it very difficult to stop gambling. The more they try and fail at quitting, the stronger the desire becomes to gamble some more, leading to the condition known as ‘gambling addiction’.
As stated above, there are many different types of addictions, but the most common form of gambling addiction is the one which involves an investment in something that is not certain to be of some benefit in the future. These types of addictions include things like poker, lotteries, sports betting and horse racing. In all these cases, the person is putting their money at a greater risk than they could afford to lose.
Treating gambling addiction is quite tough. In the past, the usual approaches were either trying to patch up the person’s self-esteem or sending them to a mental hospital, both of which had their own problems. One significant issue was that people often didn’t want to fully rely on professionals for help, creating resistance to treatment from the addicted person and their support network. Nevertheless, it’s important to know that recovery is possible. If you’re struggling with a gambling addiction, consider working with a behavioral therapy practitioner or similar professional who can guide you through this challenging phase. Recovering from addiction takes time and effort, but it can lead to a brighter and more fulfilling future.
Keep in mind, in order to get better, the first thing you need to do is acknowledge that you have an addiction problem, whether you admit it or not. If others have noticed your problem, that can only strengthen your resolve. It will also give you something to aim for, something to work towards and if you feel too ashamed to admit it, then see if there is a support group out there who are prepared to help you out. There are many online and offline support groups for addictions of all kinds, so look into as many of them as possible.
Treatment for gambling addiction varies, but for many people, it involves some form of therapy. Many people often find success through a form of behavioral therapy like hypnosis, age regression therapy, or cognitive-behavioral therapy wherein the therapists attempt to re-train their brains to stop being a compulsive gambler. Similarly, others opt for more traditional, inpatient programs that allow them to go through therapy sessions one on one.
That being said, whichever path you take, make sure you treat your addiction as you would other addictions.