How to Break the Gambling Cycle


Gambling is an activity where you stake something of value on a random event in the hope of winning a prize. It can be done legally or illegally, in casinos, at sporting events, on the Internet and elsewhere. People gamble for a variety of reasons: to socialise, to escape from worries or stress, to feel the adrenaline rush, or to win money. For some, however, gambling becomes a serious problem.

There are a range of treatments available for those with a gambling disorder, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT can help you change the way you think about betting and how you behave when you have an urge to gamble. It can also teach you new coping skills, such as distracting yourself by doing something else, or by calling someone. You can also try psychodynamic therapy, which looks at your unconscious processes and how they influence your behaviour.

The first step to breaking the cycle is admitting you have a problem. This can be hard, especially if you’ve lost a lot of money or suffered strained or broken relationships as a result of your gambling. Then, you can start to make changes. Talk to a therapist, and find out more about the best treatment options for you. You can also join a gambling support group or seek other sources of help, such as family and friends, or the 12-step program Gamblers Anonymous, which is based on the model of Alcoholics Anonymous.