Gambling is an activity where you bet on something with the aim of winning money. It can be a fun and social activity, but it’s important to remember that gambling is a risky activity and the house always has an advantage over the gambler. People who struggle with mental health issues are more at risk of harmful gambling. Likewise, those who are in financial crisis are more likely to turn to gambling as a way of distracting themselves or making up for their debts.
Gambling can be very addictive. This is because there’s a rush when you win, and it can make you feel good about yourself. It’s also an easy activity to get into and can be done from the comfort of your own home. This makes it a popular recreational activity amongst teenagers and young adults, especially as it’s so easy to access online.
However, like other addictions, gambling can have many negative consequences. It can damage relationships as gamblers may spend time away from their family and friends and prioritise their gambling habit over them. It can lead to financial problems, such as bankruptcy and debt, and it can even cause physical illness. It can also aggravate pre-existing mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.
If you know someone who has a problem with gambling, try and be supportive of them. Offer help and support without judgement, and encourage them to seek treatment. Suggest they call a helpline, speak to their GP or healthcare provider, and/or go to a support group for gamblers, such as Gamblers Anonymous.