Gambling is a form of chance that involves placing a bet on something of value. This could be a football match, a lottery ticket or even a casino game. People gamble for a variety of reasons, such as a desire to win or to relieve boredom. However, some people may be prone to gambling addiction. This is a serious and recurrent problem that affects their health and quality of life. It’s important to know the signs of gambling addiction so that you can get help for yourself or a loved one.
While most adults and adolescents gamble at some point, the vast majority do so without problems. A small number of individuals, however, develop a gambling disorder. This is defined as an excessive or compulsive urge to gamble. It can cause significant distress and disruption to their lives, career and relationships.
It’s difficult to change someone’s behaviour, so it’s best to seek professional help. Talking to a financial and therapeutic counsellor is a good place to start.
Educating yourself on the risks of gambling is another way to help you stop or reduce your gambling. It’s also helpful to challenge negative thinking patterns such as the illusion of control, irrational beliefs and the gambler’s fallacy.
It’s important to find healthier ways to manage unpleasant feelings, such as socialising with friends who don’t gamble or taking up new hobbies. Keeping yourself occupied can prevent you from using gambling to fill in gaps that occur when you stop or reduce your gambling.