Recognising the Signs of Gambling

Gambling involves risking money or other valuables on the outcome of an event based on chance, such as the roll of a dice, a spin of a wheel, or the result of a horse race. Some forms of gambling are purely recreational while others involve more serious risk, such as betting on sports events or casino games. The risks involved in gambling are very real and can be severe for people who struggle with compulsive gambling, but fortunately, there are a number of services that offer help and support.

A person who struggles with gambling may also experience emotional and psychological problems, such as depression or anxiety. Often, these symptoms are linked to stress, which can be caused by financial problems, family issues, or a loss of self-esteem. People who struggle with gambling may also turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with the symptoms. In some cases, a person may be reluctant to acknowledge that they have a problem and will hide their gambling activity or lie to their family members.

When someone is struggling with gambling, it’s important to recognise the signs and act quickly. The first step is to seek legal and/or financial advice, which can be a helpful starting point for recovery.

It is also important to strengthen your support network, and consider seeking peer help. Gamblers Anonymous is a 12-step program modelled after Alcoholics Anonymous, which helps gamblers recover from their addiction. The organization also provides resources for families of people with gambling disorders.

You can also find support and assistance through national gambling helplines, which are funded by the government and provide free counselling and information. They can be reached 24 hours a day and are staffed by professionals who understand gambling addiction.

People who struggle with gambling often feel isolated and alone. They may avoid revealing their gambling habits or lie to others about how much they’re spending on the activity. In addition, they may not take care of their finances, which can lead to serious financial problems. They can also become angry and aggressive if you try to address their gambling behaviour.

If you’re concerned about a loved one’s gambling, it’s important to broach the subject gently and in a supportive manner. Try to be nonjudgmental and avoid blaming them for their gambling behaviour, as this could escalate the situation. It is also a good idea to seek counselling and other professional help, such as a therapist or financial counsellor who understands gambling harm.

It’s also a good idea to identify any triggers that cause a person to gamble. These could be people, places or things that remind them of gambling and lead to a desire to gamble. For example, they might associate gambling with a favourite restaurant or the place where they used to play. If they’re able to reduce their exposure to these triggers, it might help them to stop gambling or at least to spend less time playing.