Gambling is when people risk something of value on an event determined at least in part by chance. This can include betting on football matches, scratchcards, lottery tickets or fruit machines.
It’s important to remember that gambling is not healthy and is often a sign of a problem. It can be addictive, and can have negative effects on your mental health. It can also have negative effects on your family. If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling, there are resources available to help.
Symptoms of a Gambling Problem
If you’re worried about a loved one who is struggling with gambling, you can seek advice from StepChange. They can provide free, confidential debt support and advice. They can also provide information on the different types of support that are available to people who have a gambling problem, including self-help groups and support from professionals such as psychologists.
Managing Your Gambling
If your gambling is taking up a lot of your time, it can affect your life and make it harder to live a normal life. It can cause you to miss out on things you enjoy, such as work or spending time with friends. It can also lead to financial problems and make you feel stressed.
You can find out how to manage your gambling by talking to a friend or family member who is recovering from gambling, or you can join a recovery group, such as Gamblers Anonymous. This can give you the support and guidance you need to get your life back on track and stop gambling.
It’s Important to Stay Gambling Safe
All forms of gambling are inherently risky and you should only gamble with money that you can afford to lose. You should never gamble with your savings or other funds that are important to you.
There are many ways to be safer when gambling online, including choosing a trustworthy website and setting up an account. You can also set a maximum limit on how much you want to spend and ensure you have a backup plan in place should your account become compromised.
Be aware of your emotions when you’re gambling, and don’t allow yourself to get into the habit of chasing losses. This can be a big mistake and will almost always result in more losses.
Avoid gambling if you’re feeling depressed, anxious or angry. It can be a way to distract yourself from these feelings and can be dangerous, as it can encourage thoughts of suicide.
It’s important to learn healthier ways of coping with unpleasant feelings, and to develop better ways of relaxing and unwinding. Practicing relaxation techniques, exercising or trying new hobbies can be beneficial for your mental health.
Changing Your Beliefs about Betting
If you’re worried that your beliefs about gambling are affecting your life, you can ask your doctor for advice. They can recommend cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which will help you challenge your gambling behaviour and change your thoughts. It can also teach you to recognize the warning signs of a gambling problem, such as withdrawal symptoms.