Among adolescents, gambling behaviors range from occasional social gambling to excessive gambling. Gambling can also be a problem for adults. A gambling problem can affect the relationship with friends and family, work, and finances. Fortunately, there are resources to help you cope with gambling.
The best way to deal with a gambling problem is to set boundaries when it comes to managing money. By establishing limits, you can help keep you accountable and prevent relapse. If you feel that you or a loved one has a gambling problem, you can find help through family, peer, or professional therapy.
Adolescents are at greater risk for developing a gambling disorder. Pathological gambling occurs when a person has a difficult time controlling his or her gambling urges. They may miss school or work to gamble. They may also lie to their spouse or family about their gambling activities. They may even run up large debts.
The legal age for gambling varies by state, but it generally ranges from 18 to 21 years of age. It is important to recognize the symptoms of gambling disorders before they become a problem. In order to be diagnosed, a mental health professional will use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria to determine if your behavior meets the criteria for gambling disorder.
Gambling is not a healthy way to unwind or socialize. If you are feeling a strong urge to gamble, you should stop. You can also try to distract yourself by practicing relaxation techniques. If you still feel the urge to gamble, it is a good idea to seek help and to visualize the consequences of your gambling behavior.
Adolescents who are suffering from a gambling disorder can benefit from counseling, therapy, and support groups. They can also find help through career counseling and marriage counseling. They may also find support from a sponsor. These resources are free and confidential. They can help problem gamblers work through their issues and overcome their problems.
The National Gambling Helpline offers a variety of resources to help people with gambling problems. You can call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). You can also use their online quiz to find a therapist in your area. If you have a gambling problem, you can also contact a gambling recovery program such as Gamblers Anonymous. This 12-step program is patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. There are former addicts in Gamblers Anonymous who can provide guidance.
You can also participate in an education class or volunteer at a good cause. You may also need to learn how to set boundaries when it comes to managing your finances. A therapist can help you learn how to make decisions when it comes to managing your money. A problem gambler may also need help managing his or her credit.
There are no FDA-approved medications to treat gambling disorders. However, there are a number of medications to treat co-occurring conditions. You should speak with your physician or other health care provider before using any medication.