How to Tell If You Are Getting Into Trouble With Gambling

Gambling is the activity of wagering something of value on an event where there is an element of chance and a prize. It can take place in a variety of places, from casinos to football stadiums, but it is often done online where it has become very popular. Some people can get into trouble with gambling, but it is not always easy to tell when things have gone wrong.

Problematic gambling is associated with a range of negative outcomes, such as debt, stress and even suicide. If you are concerned about your gambling, seek help immediately. You can contact the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90, StepChange on 0800 138 8188 or see for details of where to find help near you.

The reasons why someone gambles can vary, from the thrill of winning to trying to escape boredom or a difficult life experience. But it is important to remember that gambling should be for entertainment and not as a way of making money. Many people also use gambling as a way to relieve depression or other mood disorders, but these problems will still be present and can be made worse by gambling.

When you win a game, the brain produces a dopamine response which gives you the reward you are looking for. However, if you continue to bet more than you can afford to lose and borrow in order to gamble, you may be addicted. In addition, if you are secretive about your gambling and lie to family and friends about how much you spend, this can be an indication of problem gambling.

A problem gambler can often be impulsive and will increase their bets when they are losing, hoping to recoup their losses. This is known as the ‘gambler’s fallacy’, and it is important to recognise that you cannot always win, no matter how much you bet.

The ability to stop gambling is often related to a person’s self-esteem and confidence. It is important to identify the cause of these issues and address them. For example, if your gambling is causing you financial difficulties, it can be helpful to get debt advice from StepChange.

If you want to gamble responsibly, then start with a fixed amount of money that you can afford to lose and leave when you reach this limit. This will prevent you from chasing your losses and increasing your losses as a result. It is also important to set aside time for other activities and not allow gambling to interfere with your daily life. In addition, try to avoid using credit cards for gambling and never borrow money to gamble. You should also learn to cope with unpleasant emotions in healthy ways, such as socialising with others or exercising. These are healthier and safer ways to relieve stress. Alternatively, consider joining a support group or finding other hobbies to enjoy. If you are struggling to manage your gambling, then it is worth seeking help and talking to a GP or psychologist.