If you have an addiction to gambling, there are many ways to help you stop. Self-help groups such as Gamblers Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous are excellent places to find support. You can also try physical activity, such as running, to combat your urges to gamble. It can also help to talk to a trusted adult or family member if you have questions. In addition, you can call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for help. Pathological gambling Pathological gambling is a condition in which an individual has an overwhelming urge to gamble. It is a condition similar to addiction, which is characterized by recurrent maladaptive patterns of behavior. It can lead to serious financial, social, and vocational problems. It is estimated that between 1% and 35% of the U.S. population is affected by pathological gambling. Pathological gambling often starts in adolescence in males and is chronic, with periods of abstinence and relapse. While men are more likely to be affected by the disease, women are also at risk. They typically start gambling later than men and develop the condition faster. In one meta-analysis of 119 prevalence studies, prevalence rates of pathological gambling in men and women were 1.6% and 1.14%, respectively. Addiction to gambling Addiction to gambling is an emotional and physical condition that affects people in many different ways. It can have severe consequences for individuals, including their personal relationships and their jobs. Sometimes, it can even cause co-dependency with loved ones. Regardless of the circumstances, it is essential to realize that gambling addiction is a medical problem that needs to be addressed. Gambling addiction can be treated with a combination of therapy and recovery resources. Behavioral therapy involves exposing a person to the addictive behaviors of gambling and providing skills that reduce their urges. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps compulsive gamblers identify harmful beliefs about gambling and replace them with more healthy ones. Other treatment options may include family therapy and self-help groups. Impact of problem gambling Problem gambling has a social, psychological, and financial impact on many people. It is more prevalent among people in lower socioeconomic groups and in deprived areas. It is also a serious issue for indigenous communities and those with psychotic disorders. In New Zealand, 30% of adults know someone who has a problem gambling problem, and 8% of these individuals have experienced some form of financial harm due to problem gambling. The most affected individuals are the children and partners of problem gamblers. Problem gamblers also have higher levels of obesity and engage in other unhealthy lifestyle habits, including smoking and excessive television viewing. In addition, other studies have found a connection between gambling and substance abuse. In fact, twenty-eight percent of problem gamblers also experience alcohol or drug use disorders. Signs of problem gambling Problem gambling is a serious addiction that can cause financial hardship and affect relationships. It can also lead to stealing and other illegal activities. There are many signs that a person may have a gambling problem. These include excessive time spent gambling, loss of interest in other activities, and growing debts. The person may also become argumentative about their gambling activities, and lie about their gambling habits. Often times, a gambling problem can also be a family problem, since the person may borrow money from family and friends to fund their gambling addiction. Although most people engage in gambling without noticing any negative effects, problem gambling is a serious condition that can ruin one’s life. While there are physical signs of substance use disorders, signs of problem gambling can be subtle and hard to spot. One sign is spending more time on a cell phone than usual. Ultimately, problem gambling can cause the gambler to lose everything, causing hopelessness and depression. Treatment options Gambling addiction is a serious problem that can affect people in many different ways. Professional help can help a person overcome their problem by teaching them how to control their gambling and finances. Support groups can also help. They can offer emotional support to the gambler and help them stay away from temptation. Families are also encouraged to seek help if a loved one has a gambling problem. One of the most common forms of treatment for gambling disorder is cognitive-behavioural therapy. It aims to change the fundamental beliefs and behaviors that drive a person to gamble. The therapy identifies cognitive errors and distortions related to gambling and teaches coping skills to help the person break their gambling cycle.