Gambling Addiction – How to Relieve Negative Feelings Associated With Gambling

Gambling Addiction – How to Relieve Negative Feelings Associated With Gambling

Whether it’s scratch-off tickets, lottery, video poker or casino games, gambling is an activity in which something of value, such as money or goods, is risked on an event with an element of chance and the intention to win something else. Historically, gambling has been seen as a form of entertainment or recreation. However, it can quickly become a serious problem. Gambling can affect both the mental and physical health of those who struggle with it. It can also lead to other addictions, such as drug or alcohol use, which may be used in an attempt to reduce negative feelings associated with gambling.

Many people engage in gambling in order to escape from unpleasant emotions, such as loneliness or boredom. It can also be a way to relieve stress or tension, particularly following a difficult day at work or a fight with a partner. However, there are healthier and more effective ways to relieve these unpleasant feelings and to alleviate boredom. These include exercise, socializing with friends who don’t gamble, and practicing relaxation techniques.

For some, gambling can become a compulsive behavior that leads to severe psychological, emotional and even financial problems. In fact, it can be so dangerous that the American Psychiatric Association considers it a mental illness and lists it in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Those who struggle with this disorder experience symptoms such as depression, loss of interest in other activities and even withdrawal.

Understanding the risk factors for gambling addiction can help individuals recognize the signs of a problem and seek treatment. There are several treatment options available, including group or individual therapy, medication and family therapy. Those who have difficulty controlling their impulses can benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps them change their thinking habits and challenge irrational beliefs.

Another way to help reduce the urge to gamble is to avoid triggers, such as watching sports or movies that make you want to place a bet. You can also limit the amount of cash you carry by leaving your credit cards at home and by limiting how much time you spend in casinos. It is also helpful to practice a mindful approach to life, which can help you slow down and focus on the present moment.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that gambling is a game of chance and the odds are always against you. You’ll lose more than you’ll win. If you’re losing more than you’re winning, it’s time to quit!