Gambling is an activity where people risk something of value (money or possessions) on an event whose outcome is uncertain. The aim is to win more than they have risked, either by predicting the outcome correctly or by chance. Gambling can be a fun and exhilarating pastime, but it can also become an addictive habit with serious consequences.
People gamble for a number of reasons: the adrenaline rush from winning, socialising with friends, or escaping from worries and stress. However, gambling can become problematic if you bet more than you can afford to lose or use debt to fund your gambling. It can also disrupt your relationships and cause health problems, including depression and anxiety. In extreme cases, gambling can lead to thoughts of suicide.
If you have a friend or family member who has a problem with gambling, it’s important to know what to look out for. This article will explain what gambling is, and provide some useful tips to help you identify a problem and seek the right treatment.
Firstly, it’s important to understand that gambling is a game of chance. There is no sure-fire way to win, and the odds are always against you. This is why it’s so important to only gamble with money that you can afford to lose and to set yourself a time limit. This will help you to stop before things get out of hand.
A surprisingly high number of people suffer from pathological gambling. The occurrence of PG is about 1.6% of the population, and it can affect men and women at any age. However, PG tends to start in adolescence or early adulthood and it’s more common among those who play strategic or face-to-face forms of gambling, such as poker or blackjack.
There are a variety of treatments available for gambling addiction. These range from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to medication. CBT focuses on changing how you think about gambling, for example by challenging beliefs like that you’re more likely to win than other people or that certain rituals will increase your luck. It can also tackle underlying mood disorders, such as depression or stress, which are known to trigger and worsen gambling problems.
If you have a friend or family member with a problem with gambling, please don’t hesitate to contact us for support. Our counsellors are ready to listen and can offer you free, confidential advice 24/7. You can find a therapist near you or read more about how we work. You can even book an appointment online. This service is completely free and will match you with a professional therapist in less than 48 hours. We only work with vetted, trained and licensed therapists who are fully regulated by the UK’s professional bodies. This means that you can feel confident that your therapist will be professional and competent. This is the world’s largest online therapist platform. Join now and get matched with a therapist in minutes.