How to Stop Gambling

Gambling involves putting something of value on a random event with the intention of winning a prize, such as money or goods. It can involve betting on sports events like horse races or football accumulators, or casino games such as poker, blackjack and roulette. It may also include lottery tickets, instant scratch cards and bingo. Regardless of the form it takes, gambling is considered harmful when someone’s health or wellbeing is affected. It can damage relationships, interfere with work and lead to financial disaster, including bankruptcy and homelessness.

It can be hard to know when gambling becomes a problem, but there are a few things to look out for. For example, a person with a gambling problem will often hide their addiction and lie about it to their friends and family. They may also start to spend more and more time gambling, and even spend large amounts of their disposable income on it.

If you’re concerned about your own gambling habits, or those of a loved one, there are many organisations that can provide help and support. They can help you to control your gambling or stop it completely. These services usually offer counselling, financial assistance and other forms of support for people who are affected by gambling.

The first step to stopping gambling is admitting that you have a problem. It can be a difficult step to take, especially if your addiction has caused you to lose money or strain or break relationships. However, many people have successfully overcome gambling addictions and rebuilt their lives.

There is no single type of gambling that is more addictive than others, and the risk of developing an addiction to gambling can be found across all types of activities. However, there are some factors that increase the likelihood of developing a gambling disorder, such as traumatic experiences in childhood or adolescence, family history of gambling problems and social inequality (particularly in women).

A key step to controlling your gambling is to set a budget and stick to it. Try to make sure that you only gamble with money that you can afford to lose, and leave the casino when your budget is spent. It’s also important to avoid chasing losses; the more you try to win back what you’ve lost, the more likely you are to keep losing. Try to have other activities planned in your day, and do not gamble when you are feeling depressed or upset. You should also avoid using credit cards when gambling, and ensure that you don’t have access to your bank account. If you need further help, BetterHelp can match you with a therapist who can work with you on your gambling problems. Start by taking the free assessment, and you could be matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours. — BetterHelp, all rights reserved.