Gambling is an activity where you risk something of value in the hope of winning another thing of value. It can take place in casinos, racetracks, online or on your mobile phone. Whether it’s buying a lotto ticket or playing video poker, gambling is an exciting and social activity that can bring in big bucks. However, it is also dangerous if it becomes a compulsive behaviour. It can have negative impacts on relationships, health and work. If gambling is causing you trouble, there are ways to change your habits.
Consider talking to a professional counsellor about your gambling issues. They can help you identify the triggers and develop a plan to overcome them. They can help you understand the risks and benefits of gambling and discuss how it affects your family and finances. Counselling is free, confidential and available 24/7.
If you have a problem with gambling, it is important to get treatment right away. There are a number of different treatments, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT helps you think differently about your gambling. For example, it can teach you to recognise when your betting is becoming irrational. It can also help you to recognise the beliefs and thoughts that lead you to gamble, such as the belief that you’re more likely to win, or that certain rituals will bring you luck.
You should also seek counselling if your gambling is having a negative impact on your family. Family therapy and marriage, career and credit counseling can help you work through the specific issues that are created by your problem gambling and lay the foundation for repairing your relationships and your finances.
Managing your money is essential when you are trying to control your gambling. Get rid of your credit cards, let someone else manage your money, close any online betting accounts and make sure you keep a small amount of cash on you at all times. You can also try to find other things to do with your time. If you have a strong urge to gamble, stop what you are doing and talk to a friend or family member, or go to a meeting for people with gambling problems like Gamblers Anonymous.
It is also a good idea to seek treatment for any underlying mood disorders that may be contributing to your gambling problem. Depression and anxiety can both be triggered by gambling and made worse by it, and they can also make it harder to control your gambling.