Gambling is an activity where people place something of value (either money or items) on a random event and hope to win. This may include placing a bet on the outcome of a horse race, a lottery drawing, or a sporting event. It can also take the form of a card game, board game, or other game where skill is involved. It is important to remember that gambling is a dangerous activity and should be done responsibly. If you have a problem with gambling then talk to your GP, many of whom will be able to refer you for specialist treatment. A common form of treatment for gambling addiction is cognitive behavioural therapy, which looks at irrational beliefs that can cause problem gambling. For example, a person with a gambling addiction may believe that a string of losses will signal a future win, or that certain rituals can bring luck. CBT can help them learn to challenge these irrational beliefs and change their thinking.
Gambling can be very addictive and is often linked to depression. For this reason it is important to only gamble with money that you can afford to lose and never chase your losses as this will only lead to further harm. It is also important to set limits on how much and for how long you will gamble and stick to these limits.
Pathological gambling can be a serious mental health issue and is often overlooked or misdiagnosed, particularly in adolescents. Adolescents may exhibit the same symptoms as adults, such as lying about their gambling or hiding evidence of it, but they may also be influenced by peer pressure and are likely to gamble for more purely entertainment reasons than those of their adult counterparts.
In addition to these societal factors, individuals with gambling problems are influenced by their environment and the way that they think about gambling. The definition of a gambling disorder has evolved from an emphasis on external consequences and middle-class prejudice in the DSM-III criteria to a more comprehensive understanding of the risky nature of gambling behavior and the ways that it is influenced by various psychological constructs.
Gambling is a worldwide activity and while it can provide fun, excitement and a rush of adrenaline it can also have a negative impact on our lives. If you have a problem with gambling or find that it is affecting your life in any way, talk to us today. Our counsellors are here to help, confidential and free of charge. Our phone lines are open 24/7. Call our crisis line at 1800 833 632 or chat online with one of our counsellors now. It’s easier than ever to get the help you need.