Gambling is an activity whereby people wager something of value on a random event for the chance to win money. There are a number of negative impacts associated with gambling, such as harm to the gambler and their significant others, and this can result in serious financial problems and distress. The activity is also linked to depression, anxiety and poor physical health.
Problem gambling is a complex issue, affecting an individual’s family, friends, work and wellbeing. In addition to the immediate impact of the problem on individuals, it can cause significant economic and social costs for society. This is why a public health approach is essential to tackle gambling-related harm.
The key to treating gambling-related problems is addressing the underlying behavioural causes of the problem. This can be done through individual and group therapy, involving cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This approach is very successful and is similar to the treatment of other addictions.
In the UK, there are a limited number of services available for people who have gambling problems. These are largely commissioning and oversight arrangements, with some specialist mental health services. However, the availability of these services is restricted in terms of funding, geographic coverage and waiting lists. The treatment offered is also not consistent across the country.
If someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, you can help by encouraging them to seek professional support and offering your support. However, it’s important to remember that your loved one might not be ready for change. If you are concerned about their gambling, contact us for advice.
A person who has a gambling problem may find it difficult to concentrate on other tasks and is often irritable and moody. They might avoid spending time with their family or other close friends. They can also develop a compulsive urge to gamble and may become secretive about their behaviour. Moreover, a person who is addicted to gambling may feel a sense of guilt and shame about their gambling behaviour.
Besides being a form of entertainment, gambling can also help in socialization and mental development. The side effects of gambling can include socialization, mental developments and skill improvement. In addition, it can also provide relaxation and ease stress.
To reduce the risk of developing a gambling disorder, you should take up healthy hobbies and avoid socialising with people who have a gambling problem. You should also avoid mixing gambling with alcohol or other substances. Furthermore, you should learn to manage your money and spend time with other people who do not have a problem with gambling.
You can try to distract yourself when you are experiencing an urge by doing activities that are not related to gambling, such as taking a walk or calling a friend. You can even practice mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, to slow down your thoughts. In the long run, this will allow you to resist the temptation to gamble and will help you overcome your gambling urges.