How to Cope With a Gambling Disorder


Gambling involves risking something of value (such as money or a valuable item) on an event with an uncertain outcome with the intention of winning more money or items of value. There are four main reasons people gamble: for entertainment, to change their mood, for a rush of euphoria and to socialize with friends. Research has shown that gambling stimulates the brain’s reward systems in ways similar to drugs, and can cause people to lose control of their impulsive behaviors.

People who have compulsive gambling disorder often find it difficult to stop, even when they’re losing money or their relationships are suffering. They may lie to family members, therapists or others to conceal their involvement in gambling and are often driven by an intense desire to win. They often try to recoup their losses by betting more money or engaging in other illegal activities such as forgery, fraud and theft.

Trying to cope with someone who has a gambling problem can be very stressful for both you and the person who is addicted. It’s important to remember that your loved one didn’t choose to be addicted and they likely don’t realize their behavior is problematic. Also, try to avoid blaming them for their behavior. Consider reaching out for support. Many other people have struggled with gambling addictions and have been able to overcome them.