Gambling is when people risk money or something of value to predict the outcome of a game involving chance, such as scratch cards or fruit machines. If they predict the correct outcome, they win money; if they predict the wrong outcome, they lose the money they gambled.
It is possible to be addicted to gambling and to need help, however many people who become addicted do not realise they have a problem until it has seriously affected their lives. It is important to be aware of the signs of a gambling addiction so you can support your loved one in getting treatment.
Firstly, it is important to understand that there are different types of gambling, so it is best to find out what type your loved one engages in so you can give them the information they need to make informed decisions about their gambling. Some people may gamble for a number of reasons, including for coping purposes like to forget their worries or for the thrill of a big win. But there are also many reasons that people become addicted to gambling and need help to overcome this.
A gambling habit can lead to a financial problem, so it is important to be aware of the risks and to make sure that you are not making any unnecessarily expensive purchases or borrowing money to fund your betting activities. It is also helpful to set yourself a limit on the amount you are willing to spend on gambling and to stick to it.
The negative impacts of gambling are not only felt by the person who is a problem gambler, but also by their family and friends. They can suffer from a number of problems, including emotional neglect and abandonment and financial strains that can result in strained relationships.
It can be a stressful, upsetting and addictive experience for the person who has a gambling problem, but it is also hard on their family. The stress can cause irritable behaviour, secrecy, and arguments, which can erode trust between them. It can also affect their health, causing them to be more depressed and prone to stress-related illnesses.
You can help your loved one by taking them to see a counsellor or a specialist at the local council who can talk to them about their gambling and give them advice on what to do next. They can also tell you about the resources available for you to support them if they need it.
If your loved one is a problem gambler, they will likely have feelings of guilt and regret about their gambling. These are normal emotions, and they will often build up over time if they continue to gamble.
Eventually, these feelings can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety, which will make the person more likely to gamble again in order to get back on a ‘high’. The effects of this will be very negative, and if they are not treated soon, can damage their relationships, health and finances.