Help For Gambling Addictions

Gambling is a fun and exciting activity, but for some people it can be an addiction that causes them to spend money they don’t have, or even worse, it can affect their health, relationships, work performance and financial stability. In the worst case, problem gambling can cause suicide. If you suspect you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, there are a number of organisations that provide help and support to people affected by it.

These services offer support and counselling for people who feel they are struggling with a gambling addiction, or for their family and friends. They may offer help with regaining control of finances and finding ways to avoid gambling altogether. The organisations also provide information about gambling and its risks.

There are a range of gambling activities, including playing card games such as poker and bridge with friends or family at home, betting on events like football or horse races, and online casino games where players wager virtual money and the chance to win real cash. Some people find it hard to recognise a problem and can be secretive about their gambling or lie about how much they are spending.

It is important to budget for your gambling and only gamble with disposable income, not money you need for essentials like rent or food. It is also a good idea to remove credit or debit cards from your device so they can’t autofill on gambling sites. If you’re out and about, leave your card at home. It is also easy to lose track of time while gambling, so setting an alarm on your phone can help you keep in control.

The betting industry advertises its wares on TV, social media and via wall-to-wall sponsorship of football clubs, but gambling is not like Coca-Cola. Betting firms sell a bargain that, unless the punter is completely delusional, the chances of winning are not very high. But that is not enough to convince some people to keep buying, even after losing large sums.

Problem gambling can cause many problems, and is often accompanied by mood disorders such as depression or anxiety. It can damage relationships, interfere with work or study, and lead to debt and even bankruptcy. It can also lead to self-harm and suicide. People who struggle with these issues should seek treatment for them before trying to overcome a gambling addiction. There are a number of different therapies available, from family and marriage therapy to career, debt and credit counseling. They can also address the underlying issues that led to the gambling addiction, and help people develop better financial, family and work habits. They may even be able to suggest an appropriate sponsor, who is a former gambler who has experienced recovery and can share their own experiences.