What is Gambling and How Can it Affect You?
Gambling is a form of entertainment, but when it becomes someone’s only source of entertainment and stops them from doing other things in their spare time then it can be a problem. It’s also important to make sure that you balance your gambling with other forms of entertainment such as films, TV and sporting events. If you have a habit of spending too much time on gambling it could be time to seek help from a therapist.
The definition of gambling is risking something of value (often money) on an event that has a random outcome and the intention to win a prize. This can be done in a number of ways including: playing casino games, betting on horse racing or football accumulators, scratchcards and lottery games. Some forms of gambling require skill and some don’t, but they all involve a certain amount of risk and the potential to lose money.
Gambling can be a fun, social activity, but it can become dangerous if you start to lose control. Many people struggle to control their urges to gamble and some go on to develop a gambling disorder. Having a gambling disorder can cause serious problems with work, relationships and finances. It can even lead to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. In some cases, compulsive gambling can lead to suicide.
In the US, there are around 2 million adults who meet the criteria for gambling disorder. However, many more people experience a gambling problem to a lesser extent. It is estimated that 4-6 million adults have mild to moderate gambling problems. This is about one in every ten adults.
If you have a friend or family member who has a gambling disorder, it’s important to take action. This might include setting boundaries in managing money, putting someone else in charge of your credit cards and closing betting accounts. It is also important to seek professional advice for any mood disorders you or they might have as these can be triggers and may also contribute to gambling problems.
There are four main reasons why people choose to gamble. These are: for social or coping reasons, to increase their income, for entertainment or to escape. Some people find it difficult to resist the temptation to gamble and often keep it secret from others. They may lie about how much they are betting or up their bets in a bid to recoup losses. Gambling can also be addictive because of the rush or high that it gives. This can be particularly problematic if you’re addicted to online gambling. This is why it’s so important to stay away from the internet if you have a gambling problem. In some cases, inpatient treatment and rehab programs are needed for those with severe gambling addictions who need round the clock support.