In America alone, problem gambling affects more than 15 million people. More than 3 million of these are considered severe problem gamblers, otherwise known as gambling addicts or pathological gamblers.
Problem gambling can strain your relationships, interfere with responsibilities at home and work, and lead to financial catastrophe. It may even lead you to do things you never thought possible, like stealing money to gamble or taking money meant for your children. You may think you cant stop, but problem gambling and gambling addiction are treatable. If youre ready to admit you have a problem and seek help, you can overcome your gambling problem and regain control of your life.
Gambling addiction is a mental-health problem that is understood to be one of many kinds of impulse-control problems a person may suffer from. The types of gambling that people with this disorder might engage in are as variable as the games available. Betting on sports, buying lotto tickets, playing poker, slot machines, or roulette are only a few of the activities in which compulsive gamblers engage. The venue of choice for individuals with gambling addiction varies as well. While many prefer gambling in a casino, the rate of online/Internet gambling addiction continues to increase with increased use of the Internet.
Every gambler is unique and so needs a recovery program tailored specifically to him or her. There are a number of options for treatment available that include a12 step programs, counseling and therapy and/or inpatient programs. What works for one gambler wont necessarily work for you. The biggest step in treatment is realizing you have a problem with gambling. It takes tremendous strength and courage to own up to this, especially if you have lost a lot of money and strained or broken relationships along the way. Dont despair, and dont try to go it alone. Many others have been in your shoes and have been able to break the habit.
Overcoming a gambling addiction or problem is never easy. But recovery is possible if you stick with treatment and seek support.