Gambling is the act of betting on something, usually a sporting event or game, with the expectation of winning some money. Traditionally this was done with physical objects such as money, but now technology has made it possible to bet on things online.
Getting Help for Gambling
Problem gambling is an addictive behaviour that affects millions of people worldwide. It can harm relationships, performance at work or study, lead to debt and homelessness and even cause suicide. It can also create stress for family members and friends who worry about the gambler’s behaviour.
Over half the population in the UK participates in some form of gambling, and a lot of those who gamble have financial problems or are struggling to cope financially. They may be wasting money or using their credit cards to pay for gambling activities.
Some people use gambling as a way to escape from worries and concerns, or to make themselves feel good. This can cause them to lose control and to keep playing until they have won more money than they could afford to spend.
If you have a problem with gambling, the first thing you need to do is to recognise that you have a problem and stop. Many people find that it helps to talk to someone about their problem, and to seek help. You can contact the National Gambling Helpline for free advice, and there are also support groups available for those suffering from addiction.
Your urges are a strong factor in problem gambling and are an important part of understanding your own behaviour. It is normal to have a few urges about gambling, but these should be manageable and should not become a habit. You should learn to manage these urges so that you can make better decisions about your gambling.
Trying to get a win after you have lost a bet is called the ‘gambler’s fallacy’. It means that you believe you can get a win after a loss has occurred, but it is not true and it will only make you lose more. You should also be careful not to chase your losses – that is, trying to get all of your lost money back.
It can be difficult to change a gambling habit, but it is worth doing. You can do this through counselling, self-help groups or by talking to a trained therapist who will be able to give you guidance and support.
You can also try to make a commitment to stop gambling for a certain period of time, and to replace it with healthier activities. This can help you maintain your recovery and avoid relapse.
Your family and friends can also play a role in your recovery. If you think that your family might be affected by your gambling, they can offer support and encourage you to take action.
The National Gambling Helpline has a range of resources for you to use, including self-help materials and links to other organisations offering help and advice. You can also contact your local authority for information on services available in your area.