Gambling involves taking a chance on a game of chance, where you can win money. It can be fun, but it can also cause harm. It’s important to recognise if gambling is harming you and seek help if it does. People can lose a lot of money, and it may impact their relationships with family and friends, work or study.
Many people gamble as a way to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as boredom or loneliness. Other ways to relieve unpleasant feelings are healthier and more effective, such as spending time with loved ones who don’t gamble, exercising, or trying relaxation techniques. It is also important to realise that the brain is affected by gambling and learn to recognise its effects.
Problem gambling is an illness that can be treated with counselling and support groups. Treatment focuses on changing the person’s thinking and behaviour around gambling. It may include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which looks at beliefs about betting, such as that you are more likely to win than you are and that certain rituals can bring luck.
If you want to change your gambling behaviour, it’s important to set a time limit and stick to it. Only gamble with money that you can afford to lose and never use money that you need for essential bills, such as rent or phone bills. It is also a good idea to find other ways to relax and have fun, such as exercise or hobbies.