Gambling is an activity where people stake money on a game of chance with the possibility of winning a prize. This could be anything from a small amount of cash to a life-changing jackpot. It can be found in many places including casinos, sports events, and even online. People can gamble for fun, as a way to socialize, or to relieve boredom. However, gambling can become addictive and lead to financial hardship. If you think you have a gambling problem, it’s important to seek help from a therapist. BetterHelp can match you with licensed, accredited therapists who have experience helping individuals struggling with gambling addiction.
Gambling can affect people in different ways, depending on their personal and family circumstances. In addition to the financial losses, gambling can affect relationships and work performance. It can also cause health problems and depression, as well as escalating debts and even homelessness. In fact, some studies have shown that gambling is more prevalent among lower socioeconomic groups .
The negative impacts of gambling can be observed at the individual, interpersonal and community/society levels. Individual and interpersonal impacts are those that affect the gamblers themselves and include hidden costs like loss of self-control, risk taking, and poor judgment. External impacts are those that affect others who don’t gamble, such as the impact on family members, friends, and other nongamblers – for example, increased demands for social services.
There are many reasons why people start to gamble, but it can quickly turn into an addiction. People may begin to feel an immediate rush of pleasure when they place a bet, or they may enjoy thinking about what they would do with the money they could win. Other people may simply be attracted to the social setting of gambling venues and the chance to meet new people. Those who struggle with gambling are often motivated by a desire to replicate an early big win, boredom susceptibility, impulsivity, and use of escape coping.
It is possible to overcome a gambling addiction, but it takes courage and strength to admit that you have a problem. It is important to get support from family, friends and a therapist. BetterHelp is an online therapy service that matches you with licensed, accredited therapists who can help with gambling addiction and other mental health issues. To learn more about how we can help, take our assessment and get matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours. You can also join a gambling support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is based on the 12-step program used by Alcoholics Anonymous.