While gambling is a fun way to pass the time, it should be viewed as a limited form of entertainment. When it becomes a habit, it becomes much more than just a novelty or social experience. Without the person’s knowledge, it can take on a whole new significance. As a result, the gambling habit can become problematic. Understanding the reasons that you get tempted to gamble can help you learn how to stop. Moreover, there are many organisations that can offer support for people with gambling addiction, including counselling and help for the families of those who are affected.
The new DSM-5 includes criteria to diagnose pathological gambling. Gamblers with pathological gambling are more responsive to treatment for addictions than to antidepressants. Although antidepressants can reduce symptoms of impulse control disorders, they do not work for gambling addiction. The American Psychiatric Association classifies gambling disorder in the same category as other addictions. It is also similar to substance-related disorders, including kleptomania and trichotillomania.
To stop gambling, it’s important to strengthen your support system. Friends and family members can help you make new friends who are not connected to the gambling scene. Volunteering for a cause you believe in can be helpful for recovering from the addiction. If these options are not enough, try joining a peer support group such as Gamblers Anonymous. This is a 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. Participants are required to select a sponsor, who is a former gambler. The sponsor can guide the person through the recovery process.
Gambling can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as bipolar disorder. If you are a victim of problem gambling, counseling and other forms of therapy may help you overcome your disorder. While antidepressants do not cure the condition, they can help you deal with the underlying conditions that are causing the problem. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps you alter your thoughts and behaviors and break the cycle of compulsive gambling.
While many Protestant denominations oppose gambling, it is legal in some forms. Private social betting is legal in Minnesota as long as it isn’t part of commercialized gambling. The owner cannot profit from the activity, organize regular social bets, or advertise it. However, gambling in a business establishment may be illegal. These organizations need to obtain the right licensing from the Gambling Control Board before offering their games. However, if you’re a member of one of these religious groups, you may have to consider a different approach.
Compulsive gambling is a difficult condition to overcome, and requires a strong commitment to change. It’s important to support the person who is suffering from the problem and encourage him or her to quit. If possible, consider removing any credit cards and other financial tools that may enable him or her to gamble. It’s also wise to make your bank account automatic payments and shut down any online betting accounts you might have. It is also advisable to keep a limited amount of cash on hand at all times.