Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
The appeal of gambling is hard to overcome if you keep thinking that you'll win the next time you gamble. Here are some recovery skills that may help you remain focused on resisting the urges of compulsive gambling:
- Tell yourself that it's too risky to gamble at all. One bet typically leads to another and another.
- Give yourself permission to ask for help, as part of realizing that sheer willpower isn't enough to overcome compulsive gambling.
- Stay focused on your No. 1 goal: not to gamble. Coping skills to better manage the other issues in your life can be initiated only when you aren't gambling.
- Recognize and then avoid situations that trigger your urge to bet.
Family members of compulsive gamblers can get counseling, even if the gambler is unwilling to participate in therapy.
- Pathologic gambling. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Oct. 4, 2010.
- Granero R, et al. Sex differences among treatment-seeking adult pathologic gamblers. Comprehensive Psychiatry. 2009;50:173.
- Unwin BK, et al. Pathologic gambling. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 4, 2010.
- Holst RJ, et al. Brain imaging studies in pathological gambling. Current Psychiatry Reports. 2010;12:418.
- Tarsy D. Pharmacologic treatment of Parkinson disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 4, 2010.
- Goudriaan AE, et al. Pathological gambling: A comprehensive review of biobehavioral findings. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 2004;28:123.
- Leung KS, et al. Treatment of pathological gambling. Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 2008;22:69.
- Williams WA, et al. Pathological Gambling. In: Koob GF, et al. Encyclopedia of Behavioral Neuroscience. London, U.K.: Elsevier Academic Press; 2010:29.
- Questions and answers. Gamblers Anonymous. http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/qna.html. Accessed Oct. 4, 2010.