Gambling is a fun activity, but it can also be an addiction that can harm your health, relationships, and financial situation. Public Health England estimates that around 400 suicides per year are associated with problem gambling, and the consequences for individuals can be devastating.
There are many different types of gambling, from betting on the outcome of a race to buying a lottery ticket or playing a game of chance in an online casino. However, it’s important to know that if you’re having problems with gambling, there are ways to help you stop or cut down on the amount you bet.
Harmful Gambling is a form of addiction that can be difficult to treat, especially if you don’t have any experience with it or if you’re new to it. It can lead to debt, homelessness and other serious problems if you’re not careful. The best thing to do is reach out for help and support from a professional.
The most common type of harm is financial, but people can also be harmed by the way they think about gambling and how they behave when they’re gambling. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you to change the way you think about gambling and stop it becoming a problem.
In a lot of cases, there is a link between gambling and other addictions such as alcohol or drug abuse. In these cases, it can be difficult to differentiate the two – you might see your loved one with an addiction to alcohol or drugs and then suddenly find yourself able to recognise their addiction to gambling.
It’s important to realise that if you’re a family member of someone with a gambling problem, it’s not your fault. Your loved one needs support and you need to set boundaries in managing money to keep them accountable. It’s also important to not bail out their debt because this can make it easier for them to relapse.
A wide range of other problems can arise from people who gamble, including poor performance at work or study, and trouble with the law. If you’re concerned that your loved one is having problem gambling, contact a doctor or mental health service to discuss treatment options.
When you gamble, your brain releases dopamine – a feel-good neurotransmitter that makes you feel excited. But this can be dangerous because it means you can’t stop gambling if you lose.
The best way to stop gambling is to understand why you’re tempted to gamble and how it affects your life. CBT can help you to recognise when you’re about to gamble and how to change your behaviour so that it doesn’t cause harm.
Getting help can be hard, but it’s an essential first step. Talking to your doctor, a social worker or a gambling counsellor is the best place to start.
This is because the medical team can offer you a number of different treatments to help you stop gambling and get your life back on track. The treatment you choose depends on what works for you.