How to Overcome a Gambling Addiction

When a person gambles, they risk something of value (like money) for the chance to win a prize. Gambling can occur in casinos, lotteries, bingo games, scratchcards and sports events, and even online. The risk of problem gambling is present in all types of gambling.

Whether you are thinking of gambling for fun or for profit, it is important to understand the risks involved. Problem gambling changes the reward pathway in the brain, changing the way you learn and respond to winning and losing. This is similar to how a person becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol. When a person begins to experience negative consequences from their gambling, they need help.

A gambling addiction can be a complicated issue, especially when it affects your family or friends. You may find yourself secretive about your gambling or lying to others about it, because you fear they will not understand. You may also feel compelled to chase losses, trying to win back what you have lost. This is called the gambling fallacy and it can lead to more debt and even bankruptcy.

One of the biggest steps in overcoming a gambling addiction is admitting that there is a problem. It can take a tremendous amount of strength and courage to do this, especially if you have experienced financial ruin or strained relationships because of the addiction. It is important to reach out for help and support, especially from those who have been through it themselves. You can start by contacting BetterHelp, an online therapy service that matches you with a licensed therapist.