Gambling is wagering something of value on a random event with the intention of winning something else of value. It is considered an impulse control disorder and has negative psychological, emotional, physical, social and financial repercussions. It can lead to family violence, substance abuse and is also a risk factor for suicide. Gambling is not an enjoyable experience for the person suffering from an addiction and it’s recommended that he or she seek help as soon as possible.
When gambling, only spend money you can afford to lose. Stick to your weekly entertainment budget and make sure it doesn’t include other essentials like rent or phone bills. Set time and money limits for yourself, and leave when you reach them. Never try to chase your losses, as this will usually only result in bigger and bigger losses. Avoid playing when you are depressed or upset, as this can trigger a gambling urge.
People can get addicted to gambling at any age, but it is more common in young people and people who have a close friend or relative with a gambling problem. Sex, age, and family history can also increase a person’s risk of becoming compulsive gamblers. Gambling is often a way to relieve unpleasant feelings or to pass the time, such as boredom, loneliness or stress. It’s therefore important to learn healthier ways to relieve these feelings, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques.