Compulsive gambling is more common in men than in women, but women tend to start later in life and can become addicted to gambling quickly. Despite the gender differences, gambling behaviors among men and women have become increasingly similar. Personality traits, family influences, and medications for restless legs syndrome may also increase the risk of compulsive gambling. Those who suffer from problem gambling should consider treatment for the condition. Behavioral therapy is one option for treating compulsive gambling.
One option for recovering from gambling addiction is to strengthen one’s support system. One way to do this is to make new friends outside of gambling. Enroll in a gambling education class or volunteer work to gain a new perspective. You can also join a peer support group such as Gamblers Anonymous. This program is modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous and involves getting a sponsor, a former gambler who is willing to help you overcome your gambling problem.
Understanding why you gamble can help you determine whether or not it is a healthy activity for you. While gambling can relieve boredom, it can also help you cope with difficult emotions. Keeping an eye on your emotions and the odds can help you stop. Likewise, limiting your spending to a certain amount of cash each day will help you relax and not get into the gambling habit. And remember, gambling is just one form of entertainment – keep it in perspective.