Approaching Gambling Disorders Calmly and Compassionately
If you’re concerned that someone close to you is gambling too much, the best way to approach the issue is calmly and compassionately. They’re probably feeling hurt and betrayed by their behaviour, and the stigma attached to gambling can make it difficult for them to open up about it.
The first thing you need to know is that gambling isn’t just about money. It’s also about risk and chance, so a little bit of research on the topic will help you understand why it can be so addictive.
Gambling is the wagering of something of value on a random event, with the intention of winning something else of value. This can include a physical item, like a football or a ticket to a concert. It can also be a virtual activity, such as online casino games or a lottery ticket.
A person’s chances of winning are based on a number of factors, including the odds (which are set by the betting company) and their own personal characteristics, such as personality traits or coexisting mental health conditions. Having these in place can make it harder for them to control their gambling habits, but it’s important to remember that people can gamble for all sorts of reasons. Some may enjoy socialising with friends, or it might be a way to take their mind off other things. Others might feel a rush or a sense of high achievement when they win, and it’s easy to get caught up in fantasies about what they could do with the jackpot.
For many people with gambling problems, the urge to gamble is triggered by specific situations or events, known as triggers. It’s important to identify and avoid these triggers as much as possible, and if they can’t be avoided, try to reduce their exposure to them. There are several different types of psychotherapy that can help people with gambling disorders, including cognitive behavioural therapy, which helps to change unhealthy thoughts and emotions, and group therapy, such as Gamblers Anonymous.
Changing your gambling habits will require a lot of hard work and commitment, but it’s worth it in the long run. If you’re struggling to give up, it’s a good idea to find a support network that can provide encouragement and accountability. This could be a friend or family member, or it might be a professional therapist experienced in treating gambling disorder. It’s also important to address any underlying issues that might be contributing to your gambling problems, such as substance abuse or depression.