How to Cope With a Gambling Problem


Gambling involves risking something of value (typically money) on an event that has an element of randomness or chance in order to win a prize. It can take place in a variety of places, including casinos, horse and greyhound races, football accumulators, instant scratch cards and bingo. It also includes speculative gambling, such as betting on business, insurance or stock markets.

People who gamble can experience many negative consequences, both financially and emotionally. Problem gambling can harm relationships and family life, affect work or study performance and even cause debt. It can have a serious impact on mental health, causing anxiety and depression, and even leading to suicidal thoughts or attempts. Problem gambling can also have a significant effect on an individual’s physical health, with some studies linking it to heart disease and strokes.

There are a range of ways to get help with a gambling problem. Counselling can be helpful to explore the underlying issues and find new strategies. Support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous, can provide peer support and encouragement. Research has shown that physical activity can help to reduce the symptoms of a gambling disorder. There are also a number of state-based gambling helplines and assistance programs available to those who need it.

A key part of recovery from gambling problems is avoiding high-risk situations and taking control of the urge to gamble. Keeping gambling away from other activities is important, and it’s helpful to set a time limit when you decide to gamble. It’s also important not to chase your losses – the more you try to win back what you’ve lost, the more likely you are to lose even more.

In addition to helping you understand your relationship with gambling, counseling can be useful in helping you identify and overcome triggers. It can also help you to understand and manage other factors that may contribute to a gambling problem, such as depression or anxiety. It can be particularly helpful to use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to address beliefs that can fuel gambling behaviour, such as the belief that you’re more likely to win than other people or that certain rituals will bring you luck.

If you’re thinking of taking out a payday loan to fund your gambling habit, it’s vital that you speak to one of our trained debt advisors before doing so. They’ll be able to advise you on the best way forward based on your specific circumstances. They’re free, confidential and available 24/7.