Gambling is when you risk money or other things of value to try to predict the outcome of a game or event that involves chance. It’s usually done for fun, but for some people it can be a problem.
Understanding how gambling works can help you make better decisions and protect yourself from losing your money.
The most common forms of gambling are lotteries, sports betting and casinos. These are regulated and can be found in many countries around the world.
Despite their popularity, they can be dangerous and addictive, so it’s important to understand the risks. If you’re worried about your gambling, talk to one of our free, confidential counselling experts.
Problem gambling is when you gamble a large amount of money or other valuables and it’s having a negative impact on your life, relationships, work performance, or finances. It’s also linked to thoughts of suicide.
There’s a range of support services to help people with gambling problems, including self-help groups and helplines. They can offer advice and guidance and may be able to refer you to other sources of support, such as an inpatient treatment centre.
Gambling affects your brain and the way you think, feel and behave. It can lead to feelings of excitement and even happiness, but it can also be a sign of an underlying mental health problem.
It’s important to remember that if you have a mental health problem, you’re more at risk of developing a gambling problem. It’s also harder to stop gambling if you have a co-occurring mental health condition, like depression or anxiety.
You should try to keep your gambling to a minimum and find alternative ways to spend your time. It can be difficult to stop, but it’s possible – and you might be surprised how easy it is.
The first step is to admit that you have a problem. It’s hard to do, but it’s essential for your recovery.
Overcoming a gambling problem is not easy, but it’s possible with the right support. The key is to find ways of overcoming your cravings for gambling, and learn new strategies to resist temptation.
Getting professional help is the best way to treat your gambling addiction and overcome it. You might need to see a psychologist or a doctor for an assessment. They will be able to recommend the best course of treatment.
You might also want to try self-help tools, such as a gambling tracker or a gambling diary. These tools can help you identify when your urges are strongest, and to change your behaviour when they do arise.
The most important thing is to get support, and to stay strong. You can do this by reaching out to others who have experienced similar problems, or by attending a Gamblers Anonymous meeting.
If you need to talk about your gambling, ask someone to listen or seek help from the Gambling Helpline on 01525 503 001. It’s confidential and available 24/7.