Whether it’s buying a lottery ticket, putting a bet on a horse race, playing the pokies or placing a flutter on an event such as a football match, gambling involves risking something of value in the hope of winning more than you have lost. It can be fun, but it can also harm health, lead to debt and even suicide.
For many people, it is a form of entertainment that can be enjoyed with family and friends. However, for some, problem gambling can take over their life, causing financial and relationship problems, and affecting their performance at work or study. It can also cause stress, depression, anxiety and anger. If you’re worried about someone who is displaying signs of harmful gambling behaviour speak to a counsellor today for free, confidential support.
There are a number of ways to seek help if you think you may have a gambling addiction, including inpatient or residential treatment and rehab programs that provide round-the-clock care. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one type of treatment that teaches you to change unhealthy gambling habits and thoughts, such as the belief that certain rituals can bring luck or that you will win back any losses by betting more.
If you’re a gambler, try to play only with money that you can afford to lose and never chase your losses. If you are spending more than your weekly entertainment budget, stop gambling immediately. Also, don’t use credit or overdrafts to gamble – this is just another way of hiding from reality and making the situation worse.