How Is Gambling a Coping Method?

How Is Gambling a Coping Method?The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recognizes pathological gambling as a medical disorder. The APA believes that pathological gambling has elements of addiction similar to alcohol and drug addiction, because the gambler often loses control of gambling behaviors and experiences a negative impact personally, socially, financially and legally. This impulse disorder is a complex and progressive disease that is often coupled with depression and substance abuse. Gambling addiction treatment will stop the effects of gambling addiction and will provide healthy coping mechanisms.

Why Do People Gamble?

Some people believe that gambling is negative, harmful or sinful. Others view gambling as a game that provides a harmless diversion. There is a broad range of opinions about gambling and reasons why people do or do not choose to gamble. Some people find gambling exciting, rewarding or challenging. Gamblers may be able to recreationally gamble on occasion, but others will find themselves compulsively gambling or developing gambling addictions.

Is Gambling a Coping Mechanism?

According to the APA gambling is a way of escaping from problems or relieving feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression. People who use gambling as a coping mechanism rationalize that gambling does the following:

  • Provides escape from everyday realities they don’t want to avoid
  • Soothes and reduces stress
  • Distracts them from troubling issues
  • Provides an aspect of life over which they have control

While gambling may seem to provide relief, it is not a healthy coping mechanism. It will not solve problems and will complicate everyday life. Counseling and therapy can end gambling concerns and can help individuals develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Healthy Coping Mechanisms without Gambling

Healthy coping methods may involve the following:

  • Yoga or other physical activity
  • Meditation or other relaxation techniques
  • Stress-relieving hobbies such as crafts, gardening, photography, doing puzzles, listening to music and reading

Get Help for Gambling Addiction

Finding the right addiction treatment program to meet your needs or the needs of someone you love can be an overwhelming experience. You need treatment options that understand you and your individual struggles. Call our toll-free helpline to learn how you can overcome gambling addiction issues. We are here to help 24 hours a day.