Do You Have a Problem With Gambling?

Do You Have a Problem With Gambling?


Gambling is a form of risky behaviour where someone gives something of value (money or goods) in the hope of getting more valuable money or goods. It can be addictive if it is done compulsively. A problem with gambling can lead to debt, strained or broken relationships, and other serious consequences. It’s important to seek help if you think you have a problem with gambling.

People often gamble to self-soothe unpleasant emotions, unwind or socialize. However, there are healthier and more effective ways to do so, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or learning relaxation techniques. There is also a link between mood disorders and gambling problems, so it’s important to seek treatment for any underlying issues.

The study found that both men and women became more likely to be regular gamblers as they aged. The number of young people who reported gambling on a regular basis also increased over the past decade, rising from 57% in 2010 to 64% in 2019 (NHS Digital). The research used multiple imputation techniques to try and reduce bias due to attrition but it is still likely that the results underestimate the prevalence of gambling among this age group.

Young people are particularly vulnerable to the appeal of gambling, which is advertised heavily across TV, radio, and social media channels. Adolescents are most likely to watch sports betting advertisements and to participate in online gambling. This is because adolescents are at an especially low stage of mental health development and are more likely to be influenced by peers (Rasmussen et al., 2014).

The biggest step towards overcoming a gambling addiction is acknowledging that you have a problem. Then you can begin making changes. Ensure that you only gamble with disposable income and not money needed for other essentials, such as rent or bills. It’s also important to set a time limit for how long you want to play, and leave the casino when this is reached, regardless of whether you are winning or losing. Never chase your losses; this is called the gambler’s fallacy and is a common mistake that leads to bigger losses. Finally, make sure to balance gambling with other activities, and avoid it when you’re feeling depressed or stressed. If you do find yourself thinking about gambling, try taking a break and doing something else instead, such as reading, chatting with a friend, or listening to music. BetterHelp can match you with a therapist who can help you work on your gambling addiction, depression, anxiety and more. Take our free assessment and get started.