Gambling can be an addictive activity, with negative effects on your mental and physical health. If you’re concerned that you have a gambling problem, there are several options for getting help.
The first step is to get some advice from a qualified professional. They can give you information on the different types of gambling, and how to choose a safer way to gamble. They may also refer you to a counselling service or other support group. They can be a helpful place to talk about your feelings and problems with gambling.
Gambling involves betting on something that has a chance of winning or losing, such as a game of chance, or a lottery ticket. It can include traditional games like poker and blackjack, or more modern forms of gambling such as slots or virtual sports.
How Gambling Affects Your Brain
When you gamble, your brain releases dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter that makes you excited even when you lose. This is called the gambler’s fallacy, and it can be difficult to stop once it starts taking hold.
People who engage in harmful gambling tend to have a higher risk of developing depression, anxiety or substance abuse disorders than other people. They can also have a higher risk of impulsive behaviour and a distorted view of reality. They may also be less likely to take responsibility for their gambling, such as by hiding evidence of their behaviour or refusing to report it.
Recovering from a Gambling Addiction
Recovery from a gambling addiction can be tough, but it’s possible if you take the right steps and find the support you need. You can start by finding an inpatient or residential treatment centre. You can then work with a trained therapist to build coping skills and develop healthier habits.
Then, you can start to monitor your gambling and make changes if necessary. For example, you might set a weekly limit on how much you can spend or try to delay your gambling urges by focusing on other activities.
If you’re unsure whether you have a problem, speak to one of our counsellors who can offer you free, confidential advice. They are available around the clock to listen and support you through any issues you might be having.
When you’re feeling vulnerable, it can be tempting to give in to your gambling cravings. You might say to yourself, “I’ll just wait a few minutes,” or “I’ll just give it an hour.” Then, it will be easier to resist the urge.
Don’t give in to temptation and stay away from casinos. This will help to protect your finances and prevent you from becoming a gambling addict.
Be sure to check with your local authority about the rules and regulations surrounding your gambling, including whether it’s illegal in your area. You should also be aware of the potential harms and consequences of gambling, such as financial stress, robbing yourself of time and opportunities to do the things you love, and putting your family at risk.