Gambling involves wagering something of value on an uncertain event with the intent to win a prize. This activity has a variety of social and economic impacts that affect not only the gambler but also their family, significant others and community. The most common negative impacts include financial, work and health/well-being. The positive impacts involve leisure, socialisation and entertainment.
Problem gambling is a complex issue that requires professional help from a qualified mental health therapist. Psychotherapy, which includes a variety of techniques, can address unhealthy emotions, thoughts and behaviors associated with problem gambling. It can also help identify and treat any coexisting mental health conditions that may be contributing to the gambling behavior.
People who are addicted to gambling often prioritize their habit above other important aspects of their lives, including relationships. This can cause strain and even break down family relationships. In addition, a compulsive gambler might resort to extreme measures in order to feed their addiction, such as going deeper into debt or engaging in illegal activities.
It can be difficult to recognize a gambling problem, especially if it’s been going on for a long time. If you think your loved one has a gambling problem, the first step is to admit it and seek treatment. Then, set boundaries around money management and ensure their finances and credit are not at risk. You can also reach out to a support group, as many families have struggled with gambling problems and have found success in breaking the cycle.