Gambling is the wagering of something of value on an event that has a chance of happening and can result in winning money or another prize. It can be done in a variety of ways, such as placing a bet on a football game or buying a lottery ticket. Some people have a gambling addiction, which is considered a mental health disorder. The biggest step in overcoming a gambling problem is recognising that you have one. Once you realise this, many people are able to break free from their habit and rebuild their lives. Seek help from a support group for gamblers or talk to a trained counsellor – you can do this online, over the phone or in person. It is also helpful to address any underlying mood disorders that may be contributing to your gambling behaviour. For example, depression, anxiety and stress are often linked with harmful gambling.
A therapist can teach you skills to reduce your gambling and help you cope with it when it does occur. It is also important to set boundaries around your finances – for example, make sure you do not have access to credit cards and consider closing your online betting accounts. It is also a good idea to seek out help if you feel that your gambling has begun to impact on your relationships, and don’t be ashamed – many families have struggled with this issue. For further advice on gambling, contact the Responsible Gambling Council.