Gambling is a risky activity where people risk money or something of value to predict the outcome of games involving chance, such as lotteries, scratchcards and fruit machines.
Some people can become addicted to gambling and this can have a negative impact on their lives. It can affect their finances, family and relationships. If you feel that your gambling is having a negative impact on your life, it’s important to seek help.
Mental health professionals have developed criteria that can help to identify when someone has a problem with gambling. These criteria include:
Having a gambling problem can occur as early as adolescence and as late as older adulthood. It can also be related to other mental health issues, such as depression. Some people can control their gambling, but it may be difficult to stop.
You should only gamble with money that you can afford to lose. This means that you shouldn’t use money that you need to live on, such as rent or bills. You should also be careful not to gamble with money that you need for other things in your life, such as food or clothing.
The main disadvantage of gambling is that it can be addictive. Some people are wired to require that they experience a chemical hit every time they place a bet. This is what can cause them to get into a habit of gambling, even if they don’t really want to.
If you have a problem with gambling, there are many organisations that can help you to get better. These range from helplines that are free of charge to counselling services and support groups for people with gambling problems.
Some of these services also offer help to family members and friends. They can give you information about the risks of gambling, and they might be able to refer you to other services that can help you to stop your gambling.
Psychological therapy can help you to change your thoughts and behaviours about gambling. This is an effective treatment for gambling disorder, and can be done in a group or individually.
Research shows that cognitive behavioral therapy can help people who have a problem with gambling. This type of therapy teaches people how to resist unwanted thoughts and habits, such as the belief that a string of losses or a near miss signals an imminent win.
Another type of therapy is group therapy, which is used with families. This helps people to understand why they gamble and how it affects their relationships with other people.
It can be difficult to stop gambling, but it is possible if you make the decision and take steps to get help. You can seek support from a friend or family member who has experienced a gambling problem, or you can attend a self-help group for families, such as Gam-Anon.
Getting help to stop gambling is the best way to stop your addiction. You can contact a support organisation and speak to a counsellor or doctor. These organisations are usually free and confidential and will provide you with advice and information.