Gambling involves risking money or other material values on the outcome of a random event, such as the roll of dice, the spin of a roulette wheel, or a horse race. While the risk of gambling is low for most people, it can be dangerous for those who are prone to addictive behaviors. In addition to the potential for financial loss, gambling can also strain or damage relationships and cause depression. The following article provides a brief overview of gambling and offers tips for those struggling with a gambling problem or worried about the gambling behavior of someone close to them.
For coping reasons – to forget their worries, to feel more self-confident, or to distract themselves if they are angry or upset. This doesn’t absolve them of responsibility for their gambling, but can help you understand how they got into it and why they find it hard to stop.
To escape boredom – playing games on the internet or in casinos to try and beat the boredom. It can be difficult to find healthy ways of relieving boredom, but there are many alternatives to gambling such as exercise, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, reading a book, or practicing relaxation techniques.
Because they are in financial crisis – this is a common reason people start gambling and can lead to addiction. It can also lead to debt problems, so if you’re in this situation speak to StepChange for free, confidential advice.
They have a mental health problem – if you are struggling with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues you may be more at risk of developing a gambling problem. It is important to get help for these problems, as well as treating any underlying medical conditions.
Religious or spiritual beliefs – some religions and spiritual groups strongly oppose gambling, for example Lord Buddha stated in Singalovada Sutra that gambling leads to destruction. Some churches, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also ban gambling.
The first step to overcoming a gambling problem is admitting that you have one. This can be a difficult step, particularly if you have lost a lot of money or strained or broken your relationships as a result of gambling. However, many others have overcome gambling addictions and can offer support and advice. They can also refer you to treatment or rehab programs, such as Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step program based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. They can also give you advice on finding a therapist, which you can do through BetterHelp, an online service that matches you with licensed and accredited therapists. They can help you deal with your addiction and rebuild your life. They can also support you if you have children who are affected by your gambling. You can take the assessment now and be matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours.