Help For Gambling Problems
Gambling is the act of placing a bet on an event that has a chance of happening, where the outcome will have a positive or negative financial impact. While it can be a great way to have some fun, it is important to remember that gambling is not a legitimate source of income and is not something to be undertaken lightly. Those who have a problem with gambling can experience a range of negative effects, including family breakdowns, mental health issues and substance misuse. If you are concerned about someone’s gambling, there are steps you can take to help them break the habit.
If you have a problem with gambling, it can be hard to open up and talk about it, especially if you are worried that you will be judged by others. However, speaking about your concerns with someone you trust (like a therapist or support group) can help you to feel supported and understood. It can also help you to understand why you are struggling and work out a plan for change.
A key part of overcoming any addiction is breaking the triggers that lead to harmful behaviours. This means identifying what makes you want to gamble, and finding ways to avoid these situations. For example, if driving past a casino after work sparks thoughts of betting, try taking another route home. Alternatively, if watching sports games makes you think of betting on them, consider switching to another channel. You might also like to consider cutting up your credit cards, putting someone else in charge of your finances or closing online gambling accounts.
It’s also important to recognise that gambling can be used as a coping mechanism for unpleasant emotions. Often people gamble as a way to relieve boredom or loneliness, after a difficult day at work or following an argument with their spouse. Trying to find healthier ways of relieving these feelings (such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble or practicing relaxation techniques) can help you to stop gambling.
You may be able to find some help and support by talking to a GP or other healthcare professional, who can refer you to a specialist treatment service. A wide range of treatments are available, from short-term counselling and therapy groups to residential rehabilitation. The most important thing is that you get the help you need, and as soon as possible.
If you have a gambling problem, it is important to seek help as early as possible. A therapist or counsellor can help you to identify the underlying issues that are contributing to your gambling problems and teach you techniques to help you overcome them. If you are worried about a loved one’s gambling, you can find practical advice and support services here.