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Gambling addiction is all too real and can destroy your life when it runs unchecked. The Minnesota Department of Human Services estimates at least two million adults in the United States fall under the category of a "pathological gambler." Many may feel a gambling problem is not a real addiction, but those who suffer from a gambling addiction realize it is just as real and devastating as any drug or alcohol addiction.
Understanding your gambling addiction isn't something you can simply wish away or just "get over." Admitting your problem is the first step to seeking help and starting down the road to recovery. The problem is known as "compulsive gambling" and as a gambling addict, you may find it impossible at first to resist these impulses.
When you're ready to control your gambling problem, start by telling a trusted friend or family member about your gambling addiction. Getting it out in the open takes away some of the stress and shows you're ready to get help. Next, find a way to distract yourself and stay away from casinos while you seek treatment. Ask friends to hang out, start up a new hobby, or keep a journal to clear your head. When you're ready, find a counselor or therapist who can walk you through this addiction. Often a gambling addiction arises from depression or a lack of fulfillment in your life. Finding this void and filling it can get you over the worst of your problem and back on track and give you the strength to break your gambling addiction for good.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|