Gambling is a behaviour where people risk money or other assets (such as property) with the hope of winning a larger amount. It can take place in a number of different places, such as a casino or racetrack, at sporting events or on the Internet.
It is a risky activity and it can lead to harms, such as financial losses or problems with your relationships. Getting help and support can help you to cut down or stop gambling.
Harmful gambling can occur at any time and can be a serious issue for those who engage in it. It can negatively impact on a person’s life and can have negative effects on their family, health and work.
Problem gambling is the most common form of harmful gambling and can be a real problem for people, their families and friends. The best way to deal with problem gambling is to seek professional help, such as a psychiatrist or other psychiatric treatment.
The National Problem Gambling Helpline is a free and confidential service for those who want to talk about their problem or who think they may have a problem. You can call the helpline or chat to someone online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can also use self-help tools, such as gambling coping strategies and relaxation techniques to help you resist temptations to gamble. These can be useful if you are worried about your gambling and have tried to cut down but still find yourself going back to it.
When you’re feeling tempted to gamble, tell yourself that you’ll wait for 5 minutes, 15 minutes or an hour and then try to resist the urge. This will allow the urge to pass or weaken and will help you think about what will happen if you do give in.
Often people who have problem gambling also have other addictions or mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. These can make it harder for them to resist the urge to gamble, so talking to a therapist or counselor can help them work through their issues.
There are also a range of support groups for people with gambling issues, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which can provide peer support and help you to change your gambling behavior.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be helpful in treating problem gambling, as it helps people to identify the beliefs and emotions that are driving their gambling and learn new coping strategies. This can help people to deal with their gambling problems more effectively and avoid having to go back to it in the future.
In addition, some medications are available to treat co-occurring gambling disorders. It is important to speak with your doctor about whether these medications are right for you.
It is important to remember that no one should feel embarrassed or ashamed about their gambling. Those who have gambling problems deserve to be treated and should be supported by their families, friends and professional help. Ultimately, everyone needs to decide whether they want to stop gambling or continue playing safely and responsibly.