What is Gambling?

A person who is addicted to gambling can experience a range of negative effects in their life, from financial difficulties and relationship problems to stress, anxiety and depression. In some cases, these issues can escalate to a point where the person may feel that their life is not worth living. This is called suicidal feelings and is a very serious issue that requires immediate professional help.

What is gambling?

Gambling is risking something of value on an activity that is based mostly on chance in the hope of making a profit. It’s been around for thousands of years, and it can be found in many different forms. It can be as simple as betting on a football match, or as complex as investing money in an online casino.

While some people gamble for fun, others do it to escape from other emotional and mental health issues. In some cases, the euphoria of winning can mask these other issues, but in others it can actually make them worse. The devastation of losing can also lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair.

It is possible for anyone to develop a gambling problem, regardless of age, gender or race. Some types of gambling are more addictive than others, but all forms can be harmful if a person becomes overly involved. People in the 18-29 age group are especially vulnerable because their brains have not fully matured by this time, making them more likely to engage in reckless behavior in general.

Many people who develop a gambling problem do so because of a financial crisis. This might include bills not being paid, credit cards getting maxed out or debts accumulating. It is also common for people to steal or even commit crimes in order to finance their gambling habit. This can have devastating consequences, especially for children and family members.

The reason gambling can be so dangerous is that it is a highly addictive activity, and the psychological process of gambling can trigger a number of negative emotions and beliefs. It is therefore important for anyone who suspects they have a gambling problem to seek professional help as soon as possible, so that they can break the cycle of negative thinking and behaviour and stop gambling forever.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be very effective for people with a gambling problem. CBT can help a person challenge irrational beliefs about gambling, such as the illusion of control, chasing losses and the gambler’s fallacy. It can also teach a person healthier coping mechanisms. For example, if the person’s route to work takes them past a casino, they can plan alternative routes or even change the channel when watching sports to prevent the temptation to gamble.

Having someone to talk to about these thoughts and feelings is often a relief. It’s not uncommon for friends and family members to tell us they did not realise their loved one had a gambling problem until the finances started to suffer and they saw mounting debts on their credit card statements or repossession action on their home.