Help For Gambling Problems


Gambling involves risking something of value – money, property, or your life – on an event that is determined by chance. Some forms of gambling are legal and help people win prizes, such as scratchcards or bingo. Others are illegal, and can harm people’s health and relationships, cause serious debt, even lead to homelessness. People gamble for many reasons – to socialise, escape worries or stress, or just for fun. For some people, however, gambling can get out of control and become harmful. If you’re worried about your own or a friend’s gambling habits, there are ways to find support and treatment.

Gambling can take place in many settings, from online casinos and live betting rooms to playing card games with friends in your living room. You can also bet on sporting events like football matches or horse races with friends. Some people even bet on political elections or reality TV shows.

The most important thing to remember about gambling is that it’s a game of chance. The odds are always against you. While you may win occasionally, the chances of losing are far greater. If you’re not careful, you could end up losing everything.

Some people struggle to recognise when their gambling is out of control, and they may try to hide it from family or friends. They might even start lying about how much they’re spending on it.

People often gamble to feel a rush of pleasure and excitement when they win. This feeling is caused by a surge of dopamine, which affects the brain’s reward centres. The more you gamble, the more dopamine is released, and the more you want to keep gambling to get that same rush.

If you’re worried about someone’s gambling, it’s important to understand why they do it and how it can affect them. It’s also helpful to know what types of treatment are available and where to get help.

There are no medications for problem gambling, but psychotherapy – which includes different treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy – can be effective. A therapist will help you to identify and change unhealthy thoughts, emotions and behaviors, and can teach you techniques to manage your stress and cope with difficult situations.

Gambling is a huge industry, and it’s not just people who have problems with it. It can also have a negative impact on your work or study, and it can affect your relationships with family and friends. In some cases, it can even lead to depression and suicide. The good news is that there are many organisations that offer support, help and advice. You can find them by visiting the BetterHelp website and taking a free assessment. You’ll then be matched with a therapist who specialises in your area of need, whether that’s gambling addiction or a range of other issues. You can also chat to a therapist on the phone, and many of them are available 24/7.