What Is Gambling Disorder and How to Deal with It

Updated on November 22, 2021

A disorder is a physical condition in which there is a disturbance of normal functionality. The disturbance signifies an imbalance in the behaviour of a person in matters relating to their disorder. Therefore, gambling disorder is a compulsive gambling habit without much consideration for the physical, social, financial and psychological consequences.

Many people with a gambling disorder do not realize it until it has taken too much from them. Even then, it is usually too late because they are already addicted to gambling. Moreover, it is easy to access online casinos these days with few clicks on a smartphone. People can always satisfy their gambling addiction urge regardless of whether they are lottery, slots, poker or scratch cards. You can find the best online lottery sites in India to play games in the comfort of your home. 

The ease of gambling coupled with other biological, psychological and socio-cultural factors are the main factors responsible for gambling addiction. Besides, many online pools and players’ opinions suggest that different games pose different levels of addiction—sports betting ranks high on the list. 

What Causes Gambling Disorder?

Gambling is a fascinating activity, interesting to watch and much more exhilarating to be involved. No wonder many people love to gamble, but only a few know the truth about gambling addictions and their consequences. The feeling that “you can win that bet” comes very easily after watching a game or two. This confidence that you get can assure you that you will get it right this time.

The confidence almost always leads to a cycle where the gambler feels that he will win back his losses if he does something right this time. This feeling can impair thinking until the player is knee-deep into the games resulting in a bleeding account. Most gamblers never win their money back or even come close to breaking even.

Other times, people get addicted to gambling because they are looking for gratification, excitement or some action in their lives. Others are looking for a means of escape from their normal lives or numbing from a particular feeling.

What Are the Indications that A Person Has A Gambling Disorder?

An addicted person does not realize that he is addicted until it is too late for him. A person with a gambling disorder is likely to hide his behaviour from family and relations for a long time. This can make it difficult for his family and friends to suspect anything and get help early. There are, however, some traits that can give a gambler away;

  • Lying to cover up his tracks
  • Being emotionally unavailable
  • Missing out on family parties and hangouts
  • Always thinking and talking about gambling
  • Always going broke and needing more money
  • Inability to stop and refusing help from anyone
  • Gambling with money meant for bills payment and upkeep

How to Deal with A Gambling Disorder?

Dealing with a compulsive habit that involves an intensive craving is a very challenging task. Although, with the active participation of an addicted gambler, managing the addictive behaviour is achievable. Here are some ideas on how to achieve this;


The first step to the road of recovery is to accept that you are addicted to gambling and willing to stop. Before most people get to this point of acceptance, they have already gotten into massive financial crises and family/relationship problems. It is always recommended not to wait until it is too late and accept help early.

One-on-one counselling

This involves the patient’s active participation with professionals who offer group sessions and one-on-one therapy sessions with their patients. In this arrangement, the patient lives at home but attends classes and sessions in a facility centre.

In-house rehabilitation program

This is very similar to one-on-one counselling, except that the patient will be required to come into a specified facility centre and be given adequate treatment in house. It is mainly recommended for severe cases of addictive patients. The expectation is to limit their exposure to gambling influences and create a regulated environment to recover without outside influences.


Mood stabilizers and antidepressants are mainly prescribed medications for this type of illness. They help to control the urge to gamble and other symptoms and illnesses associated with gambling addictions. It also helps to balance the moods, anxiety conditions and depression of an addicted patient.

Lifestyle Changes

Making a significant change to your usual lifestyle can have a positive effect on an addictive gambler. This change can range from moving to a new state to putting someone trusted in charge of your money. The overall aim of this practice is to take away any form of temptation from the person. Temptation can cause relapse. Therefore, people, activities, places, and gambling are entirely avoided until the patient is fully recovered.

Addictions, regardless of what a person is addicted to, all work the same way. It produces similar psychological, physical and social effects for a person affected. Likewise, similar procedures are applicable in dealing with gambling disorders and managing all addictive behaviours. Also, attention and care from patient’s supportive family and friends can help them recover fast.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.