Gambling can be a fun activity, but it can also be harmful if it becomes an addiction. There are many ways to stop gambling, including counseling and support from friends and family. The Benefits of Gambling Gamblers are more likely to be happy when they gamble than when they watch television, according to a study by the University of Rochester. This is because gambling allows them to socialize with other people and develop a new perspective on the world around them. It also releases endorphins, which improve mental health and reduce stress levels. This is especially important for individuals with mental illnesses like schizophrenia. Getting Help for Gambling It can be difficult to realize that you have a gambling problem, but it is important to seek help. A doctor may prescribe medications to treat a co-occurring disorder or depression, and a counselor can help you think about how gambling affects your life and whether it is worth breaking the habit. The Addiction to Gambling It is easy to get addicted to gambling. It takes a lot of courage and strength to admit that you have a problem and start taking steps to fix it. But you can overcome it if you are willing to work hard. The Effects of Gambling on Bankruptcy Several studies have shown that gambling can be a contributing factor in bankruptcy filings. Some studies have found that up to 20 percent of all bankruptcy filers are gambling addicts. The negative effects of gambling include financial losses and emotional harm, such as strained relationships or broken trust with family members. It can also cause physical damage, such as a heart attack or stroke. Psychological Effects of Gambling The psychological effects of gambling can be serious, such as a loss of self-control or compulsive behavior. A gambling addiction can lead to a number of other issues, including mental illness, criminal activity, and ruined lives. Cognitive-behavior therapy can be helpful in treating a gambling addiction, as it can teach patients to resist the temptation of gambling. The treatment teaches patients to think critically about their decisions, to resist irrational beliefs, and to recognize when they are losing control of their thoughts. Other types of treatment can also help, such as support groups, peer-to-peer counseling, and supervised gambling intervention programs. Counseling can help people understand their gambling behaviors and how they affect themselves, others, and their families. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, it is important to seek help immediately. Call a professional, a friend or a family member, or a self-help group for families, such as Gam-Anon. It can be a challenge to get started with a gambling program, but it is well worth the effort. Most gambling programs offer a free trial period to test the waters before you commit. When you are ready to play, start with a fixed amount of money you can afford to lose. If you lose all of that money, you will need to start over and keep a boundary for yourself so that you can’t take out more cash to make up the difference.