Gambling is a form of entertainment that can be enjoyable, but it can also lead to serious problems. It can harm your health, relationships and performance at work or study, cause you to get into trouble with the law, or leave you in debt and vulnerable to homelessness. If you gamble and feel it is impacting your life, there are services available to help.
Gamblers may be aware that they have an edge in a game, but many don’t realize that the house holds a bigger advantage than they do. They also don’t understand how to make sure they are not taking too much risk or overestimating their chances of winning.
It can be a challenge to stay on top of your gambling, but the key is to avoid getting too carried away by the excitement of the moment. You need to keep your expectations realistic and set limits on how much money you can lose.
A healthy balance is important to maintaining a good life and keeping your gambling in check, so it’s worth making time for other activities as well. If you’re struggling with gambling and would like to seek support, there are various options available, including a free service through the NHS in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire.
Medications can also be an effective treatment option for problem gambling, as well as therapy. Antidepressants alleviate the symptoms of some impulse-control disorders, but they don’t work as well for pathological gambling. Instead, therapists have found that medications used to treat substance addictions, such as opioid antagonists, are more effective at controlling cravings and other signs of an addiction.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, on the other hand, teaches people to recognize and resist irrational beliefs. It also helps them to identify and change their negative behaviors, such as chasing losses.
Adolescents are more likely than adults to develop a gambling problem, and it can have lasting effects on their lives. They are at higher risk for poor mental health and poor relationships with their family and friends, as well as having lower grades in school.
They can also be more likely to experience suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. This is why it’s vital to speak to a professional, as soon as possible, if you think you might have a problem.
If you are concerned that you might have a gambling problem, there is help available for you and your family. You can contact your GP or another trusted health professional to discuss the situation and find out what is available.
Your GP can also provide you with information about local services and organisations, such as the West Midlands Gambling Harms Clinic. You can also ask for referral to a specialist therapist.
Recovering from a gambling problem is a long and difficult process. You’ll probably slip from time to time, but with the right support and the determination to overcome your addiction, you can recover.
If you have a loved one who is struggling with gambling, it can be hard to know where to turn for help. But if you reach out for support, you’ll be surprised at how many other families have struggled with this same problem.