How to Overcome a Gambling Problem

Gambling Blog Jun 7, 2023

Gambling is the act of placing a bet on an event that involves some form of chance. The stake may be money or any other item of value. Gambling is a global industry, with a turnover of over $70 billion in 2013. In the United States, gambling is legal in some jurisdictions and prohibited in others. For those suffering from a gambling disorder, there are treatment options available.

The first step in overcoming a gambling problem is to acknowledge that there is a problem. This can be difficult, especially if your gambling has caused financial hardship or has strained relationships. However, it is vital to recognise the problem so that you can seek help and support. There is a wide range of specialist services that can provide support and advice. These can be found online, in a local community or in your area.

Often, people gamble for fun and to try their luck. But, it can also be a way of alleviating stress and boosting moods. Research suggests that gambling triggers a euphoric rush which is linked to the brain’s reward system. Therefore, many people feel that it’s a great way to change their mood and take their minds off their problems.

Some gambling activities involve skill, for example, card games and some sports betting. However, it is important to remember that the vast majority of gambling is based on chance and the outcome will not be predetermined. The result is dependent on a number of factors, including the likelihood that other participants will win or lose, the amount of money that will be won or lost and the underlying odds.

While some skills can improve the odds of winning, they cannot eliminate it entirely. For example, knowledge of strategy can improve the chances of winning in some card games and knowledge of horses and jockeys may help a person predict likely outcomes of horse races.

Gambling harms can have short- and long-term financial, physical, social, and emotional impacts on the gambler and their family and friends. It is important to seek treatment if you or someone you know has a gambling problem.

Several mental health conditions can increase the risk of gambling problems. Depression, anxiety and substance use disorders can all contribute to or be made worse by compulsive gambling. It is also important to address any underlying issues that may be contributing to the gambling problem. For example, if you are struggling to manage your debts, contact StepChange for free and confidential debt advice. This will allow you to make more informed choices about your finances and help you get back on track. It is also worth remembering that it can be extremely dangerous to attempt suicide when gambling becomes a major issue, so you should always seek immediate help if this is an issue for you. If you are worried about the gambling habits of a friend or relative, don’t hesitate to contact a crisis helpline.