Gambling is an activity where you wager something of value on a random event. For example, you might play the lottery or a game of bingo. Although it may sound harmless, gambling can be addictive. You’ll need to learn to understand your odds, and know when to stop.
Adolescents who gamble are likely to feel as though they can’t lose, and may exhibit negative consequences such as a sense of alienation. They might also be less capable of managing money than adults, or have a tendency to lie to their families about how much time they spend gambling.
Regardless of age, gambling is considered a problem if it interferes with your school or work, or if you have a hard time controlling your urges. It can be difficult to determine whether or not a gambling disorder exists, but it is always worth seeking help if you suspect you have a problem. If you have a family member with a gambling disorder, it is important to discuss your concerns with them. Family members can provide support, and can also help you make the right decisions.
Problem gambling is a very serious condition, which can lead to strained relationships. Often, it is associated with anxiety and depression, and is often accompanied by high suicidal ideation. Inpatient rehab programs are available for people with severe gambling disorders. Some of these programs are modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. There are also peer support groups for problem gamblers, and a variety of other organizations that offer help.
Many problem gamblers have problems with their finances, which makes it a challenge to control their impulses. Keeping a small amount of money in reserve can make it easier to stay on track. Additionally, it is important to let someone else manage your money, such as your bank or credit card. This can make you accountable for your gambling and prevent you from relapse.
Problem gambling is a very serious issue, but it can be managed. Taking time to talk with your friends, family, and counselor about your gambling problems can help you resolve issues. Consider joining a 12-step recovery program or joining a gambling helpline. These organizations can provide you with the support you need to get your life back on track.
Adolescents who gamble will likely be able to find help. Most states have gambling helplines. A few have even developed programs for teens with gambling disorders. Getting help is often free. Other organizations that provide support include the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, and the Donaghue Women’s Health Investigator Program at Yale.
It can be hard to admit to your family that you have a problem, but it’s best to do so. This is a difficult step to take, but it’s one that can help prevent strained relationships. Your family members might be embarrassed by your behavior.
While it isn’t always easy to overcome a gambling addiction, many people have. With help, you can find ways to overcome your gambling problems and begin a new, more fulfilling, and healthier life.