Gambling can be an enjoyable pastime for some people, but it can also be a source of financial problems, harm physical and mental health, damage relationships, impair performance at work or study, get someone into debt, and even lead to homelessness. If you think you have a gambling problem, there are ways to help you break the habit and rebuild your life.
If you like to gamble, it is important to only bet with money that you can afford to lose and not use your household budget or credit card debt. It’s also important to set money and time limits before you start gambling and stick to them. It’s also a good idea to learn the rules of your favourite casino games or sporting events, so you can make better decisions when you are playing.
Studies have shown that gambling makes people happier, mainly because it activates different parts of the brain. Additionally, when you win a bet, your body releases dopamine which is a feel-good neurotransmitter that helps to increase happiness levels.
If you think you might have a gambling problem, seek treatment from a doctor or counsellor. Therapy can help you identify underlying conditions that could be contributing to your compulsive gambling, such as bipolar disorder, and change unhealthy gambling behaviours. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for gambling addiction is particularly effective and can teach you to recognise and fight the urge to gamble. This type of treatment is based on the same principles as CBT for other addictions, such as alcohol and drug abuse.