Gambling Disorders

Gambling is when a person puts something of value, usually money, on an event that depends at least in part on chance. The prize can be money, goods, or services. People can also gamble using collectible objects that have value, such as marbles or trading cards in games of marbles and Magic: The Gathering.

Some people with gambling disorder may be able to stop on their own, but for many others, overcoming this problem requires professional help. Counseling can teach people to think about how gambling affects them and their family and friends, and can help them find ways to cope with the urges to gamble. In addition, counseling can help people find ways to manage their money and avoid borrowing or relying on credit to gamble. Medications are sometimes used to treat co-occurring conditions, such as depression and anxiety.

It is important to remember that if someone is addicted to gambling, they will need to address all of the issues surrounding their problem. This may include: lying to family members, therapists, and employers in order to conceal the extent of their gambling; losing control of personal finances and/or credit; jeopardizing relationships or careers to gamble; and returning to gambling after a loss to try to win back lost money (known as “chasing”). In some cases, people with serious gambling disorders are unable to overcome their addiction without round-the-clock support from an inpatient or residential treatment program. These programs are typically modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous and provide group and individual therapy.

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