Stop Gambling If You Are Having Trouble
Gambling is when you place something of value on a random event with the aim of winning something else of value. It includes lotteries, scratchcards, fruit machines, betting on sports events or in casinos. Gambling can cause problems for some people, especially if they gamble with money they need to pay bills or to live. This is called compulsive gambling or a gambling addiction. Problem gambling is a serious issue that can affect your health, relationships and work. You can find help and support to stop gambling if you are having trouble.
There are many different reasons why people gamble, such as the chance to win money, socialising with friends or escaping from worries or stress. However, for some people it becomes a problem and can lead to debt and even suicide. Problem gambling is also known as compulsive gambling or a gambling disorder and can affect people of all ages, races and gender.
A person can become addicted to gambling in the same way as they can be addicted to drugs and alcohol. A person with a gambling problem may feel that they cannot control their behaviour, and may try to hide their gambling or lie to their family and friends. They might spend more time and money gambling than they can afford, and often use credit cards or loans to fund their habit. Some people even begin to miss important activities such as work, school and friends because of their gambling.
People who are struggling with a gambling problem can seek treatment for help, or you can get support from self-help groups and charities. The charity GamCare runs a national helpline and online support service for anyone concerned about their gambling. They have a free online tool that can help you assess the impact your gambling is having on your life. They can also refer you to local services for advice and counselling.
While there is no specific age at which gambling becomes a problem, it is more common in adolescents than in adults. There is also a greater likelihood of gambling problems developing if you have a family member who has a problem. This is probably because of the influence of peer group behaviour.
Gambling can be addictive, and it is a good idea to only gamble with disposable income rather than spending money that you need to pay bills or rent. Set a limit for how much you will gamble and stick to it. Never gamble with money that you need for essentials like food or utilities and don’t borrow to gamble. Also, make sure that you have balanced gambling with other enjoyable activities and don’t gamble when you are upset or depressed. You should also avoid chasing losses because it will only increase your losses and lead to bigger problems. In addition, make a pledge to never gamble when you are tired or hungry and don’t gamble while driving or drinking alcohol. It is also important to remember that gambling products are designed to keep you gambling, so they will not always be fair.