Help and Advice For People With Gambling Problems

Gambling is a form of risk-taking in which you stake something of value for the chance to win a prize. It can take place at casinos, racetracks, card rooms, online and even in some bars. People who gamble often do it to relieve stress, boredom or frustration. However, it can lead to serious financial problems and even mental health problems like depression.

Pathological gambling can lead to a range of emotional and social problems, including low self-esteem and relationship difficulties. In addition, the constant cycle of winning and losing can make you feel down and hopeless. People with mood disorders are more at risk of developing a gambling problem. It is also common for people with gambling problems to experience anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts.

If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, it is important to seek help and advice. It is likely that you will need to address issues around finance, family and relationships as well as your own gambling behaviour. There is a wide range of support services available, including therapeutic and debt counselling.

It is not uncommon for people who have a gambling addiction to spend more than they can afford. This can cause financial strain and may ultimately result in debt or bankruptcy. It is possible to get free debt advice from StepChange, the UK’s leading charity debt advice service. It is also important to set boundaries in how you manage money, so that you can prevent your loved ones from spending money on their gambling habits.

People with a gambling problem can become restless and irritable and often lie to their families about how much they have spent. This can cause tension and lead to arguments. In some cases, individuals can begin to isolate from friends and family and stop planning activities. It is also common for a person with a gambling addiction to become angry and hostile when confronted about their gambling.

It is difficult to combat a gambling addiction without the right support. The best way to find help and support is to talk to a counsellor. They can provide a professional assessment and develop an appropriate treatment plan. There are also a number of self-help groups for people with gambling problems, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which follows the format of Alcoholics Anonymous.

It is important to remember that you cannot force your friend or family member to admit they have a problem. However, you should try to inform them of the impact their gambling is having on you. It is also helpful to try and identify what triggers their gambling, so that you can learn to cope with these negative emotions in healthier ways. These might include exercise, spending time with friends who do not gamble, taking up a new hobby or practicing relaxation techniques. You can also try talking to a therapist or joining a peer support group. These can help to rebalance your brain chemistry and help you feel more at ease in your day-to-day life.