Gambling can be an addictive, risky, and damaging activity. While some people may enjoy gambling, others are prone to addiction and need help to stop. If you think you may have a gambling problem, please call our free helpline for confidential advice and support.
Addiction to gambling is a serious mental health issue that affects the individual, their families and their communities. It costs money, harms others and can be life-threatening.
Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the negative effects of gambling and to find success in your quest for recovery. Here are some tips:
1. Strengthen your support network, including family and friends.
Having a strong support system can make it easier to recover from an addiction, especially if you have experienced severe gambling problems in the past. Reach out to people who have overcome their own addictions and can give you honest, reliable advice about what works for you.
2. Learn to control your emotions, and keep yourself safe when you gamble.
Many people with gambling problems have anxiety or depression, and these issues can contribute to them forming addictions. Practicing mindfulness can help you manage your emotions, reduce stress and avoid feelings of anger or frustration that may trigger gambling.
3. Avoid the temptation to go back to gambling after you lose a lot of money.
Whether you’re gambling online or at the casino, it can be easy to get lured into chasing your losses. It’s a common habit to start thinking “If I just play a little longer, maybe I can win all my money back.” However, that mindset is not realistic and can lead to serious damage in the long run.
4. Educate yourself on the social and economic impacts of gambling.
While most gambling impact studies focus on analyzing the economic benefits and costs of gambling, they ignore the broader social impacts of this activity. These impacts are often nonmonetary and invisible, and can affect the lives of many individuals and communities without them even realizing it.
5. Measure the social impacts of gambling at the personal, interpersonal and community/society level.
Observing the impacts of gambling is a key component in designing and evaluating policies for improving the public’s health and wellbeing. Gambling is a highly popular leisure time activity in most countries and has major social and economic impacts not only on the gambler but also their family members and the society at large.
6. Develop a sensitivity to gambling’s negative impacts.
In a world where excess money contributes to more fun, there are some advantages to gambling. For one, it allows people to experience a sense of excitement, which can boost their mood and improve their health.
It can also stimulate the development of new nerve connections in the brain that can help to maintain health. Moreover, it can help to reduce stress and anxiety by providing a social environment where players can meet other people who share similar interests.
It can also help to increase self-esteem by providing a social outlet and an opportunity to gain confidence. It is also a way to develop empathy for other people, as players can connect with other gamblers over a shared interest.