Gambling is the act of betting or wagering on something that will result in either a gain for the person who bets, or a loss for them. This can include everything from betting on a football match to buying a scratchcard. It’s important to remember that gambling is an activity that can be addictive and harmful for your health.
Often people who gamble are in good financial circumstances, but it can be an unhealthy habit that can lead to financial problems, poor health and even death. This type of addiction is called problem gambling. It can affect many aspects of your life, including relationships, performance at work and studies, and it can also make you vulnerable to debt and homelessness.
You might have a problem with gambling if you spend more time and money on gambling than you do on other activities, or if your gambling makes it difficult for you to enjoy other parts of your life. If you have a problem with gambling, talk to your doctor or health professional about treatment options.
Mental health professionals use a number of criteria to help identify people who might have a problem with gambling. One of the most widely used is called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria. The newest version of the DSM lists gambling disorder as a separate category alongside other addictions.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
CBT can help you change your thinking and behaviour if you have a problem with gambling. It can also help you understand why you are gambling and how to stop. It can also help you to deal with the emotions that are often triggered by gambling.
Family support and therapy
If you have a problem with gambling, it is important to reach out for help from family members or friends. They can provide you with advice and support, help you to cope with the stresses of gambling, and encourage you to get treatment.
Counselling and therapy can also help you to work out why you are gambling, how it has affected your life, and what you can do about it. These sessions can be a great way to get the help you need and build new skills that can improve your life.
Postponing your gamble
If you are having trouble resisting a gambling urge, try to wait until it passes or becomes weak. You can also distract yourself with another activity, such as going for a walk or practicing relaxation exercises.
Using a friend or family member to bet with you
If a friend or family member is willing to bet with you, it can help you feel more comfortable. They can also help you to think about why you are gambling, how it might affect your life and family, and how you might overcome your addiction.
Strengthening your support network
Gambling can be a very social activity, so it is important to have strong support networks to help you when you need them. Having a friend or family member who is also in recovery can be a big help when you are trying to stop your gambling.