Gambling involves wagering something of value on an event that is determined at least in part by chance, with the intention of winning something else of value. Prizes can range from a small amount of money to a life-changing jackpot.
In addition to psychotherapy, treatment for gambling disorder can include medications and lifestyle changes. Treatment may also address underlying conditions, such as depression or bipolar disorder, which can cause gambling urges. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of therapy that teaches you to change unhealthy gambling behaviors and thoughts, such as rationalizing your behavior or believing you can win back the money you’ve lost.
Another type of therapy, called psychodynamic therapy, can help you understand how unconscious processes influence your behavior. This is important because the reward center of your brain can be affected by unhealthy activities, such as gambling.
You may also benefit from family therapy or marriage, career, and credit counseling to repair problems caused by problem gambling. It’s important to surround yourself with a supportive network as you battle your addiction. Try to distract yourself when you feel the urge to gamble, and avoid isolating yourself. You can also join a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous.