Gambling Addiction – How to Help Break the Cycle of Gambling Addiction

Gambling is the wagering of something of value, with consciousness of risk and hope of gain, on an uncertain event whose outcome is determined by chance or accident. In the most extreme case, it can lead to the development of pathological gambling, defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as an impulse control disorder.

Whether it is placing a bet on the horse races, a football match or using the pokies, most people gamble at some point in their lives. However, it is important to recognise that all forms of gambling are addictive and can cause harm.

There are a number of things that you can do to help break the cycle of gambling addiction. The first step is to admit that you have a problem. This can be difficult, especially if you have already lost money or strained relationships as a result of your gambling. You can then seek out professional help, which could include attending a self-help support group for gamblers such as Gam-Anon, or one of the many treatment and rehabilitation programs available.

Another way to help stop gambling is by focusing on the positive aspects of your life. You may also want to consider finding a new hobby, or try and spend more time with friends and family who can help you to focus on the positives of your life.

If you have a gambling problem it is important to seek help as soon as possible. There are a number of steps that you can take to get help including:

Talking therapy is the most effective way of treating gambling addiction, and our online therapists are on hand 24/7. We will match you with a therapist who is qualified and experienced in helping people with gambling problems.

A major component of gambling is the reward schedule, which is designed to maximize the amount of reward a player gets for their money invested. This can be achieved by varying the frequency and size of rewards, or by creating a feeling of progress in the game. This type of reward system is common in games and can be used to create a sense of addiction that can lead to harmful gambling behaviour.

Other important factors include social environments, particularly in multiplayer games, which can play an essential role in promoting user growth and retention through social linkages, commitments, and competitive pressures. There is also a large body of research that suggests that gambling can be triggered by other psychological factors such as recreational interests, poor judgment and cognitive distortions. These factors have led to the classification of gambling disorder as a behavioral addiction in the DSM-5. This change reflects the recognition that gambling disorder shares some characteristics with substance use disorders and has similar brain origins, comorbidity and physiology.