Gambling involves betting something of value on a random event, where instances of strategy are discounted. This activity is generally considered to be a form of entertainment, but it can become an unhealthy addiction if not managed properly. Many people have lost not only their money but also their family, friends and careers as a result of gambling. Seek help if you are struggling with this addiction.
People gamble for many reasons – it may be for the thrill of winning, the socialising or to escape from worries and stress. However, it is important to recognise that gambling is not a sure thing and the odds are not in your favour. It is therefore important to do your research before deciding to play, and it is recommended to avoid games that you do not understand completely.
Most of us will lose more than we win, but some people are unable to control their gambling and it becomes a problem. A person who has a gambling disorder can be recognised by a number of factors including:
The key to gambling responsibly is setting limits. Decide before you gamble how much you want to spend and stick to it, even if you’re on a winning streak. It’s a good idea to set a time limit, so that you know when it’s time to stop.
Counselling can be helpful for those who struggle with gambling, as it allows them to think about the issues and consider options. There are no medications specifically for gambling disorders, but some can treat co-occurring conditions such as depression. There are also peer support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous which can be helpful in overcoming the addiction.