How to Avoid Harmful Gambling
Gambling involves risking money or something of value on an event with the intention of gaining a reward for winning while losing a corresponding amount if you lose. This can include betting on horse races, sporting events or using pokies, and it can also involve placing a bet on an investment in the stock market.
Choosing the right place to gamble can be crucial in avoiding harm and ensuring that you have realistic expectations of how much you are likely to win or lose. It’s important to choose a safe place and avoid tempting offers that may lure you into gambling more frequently or with larger amounts of money.
Harmful gambling is an issue that affects a significant number of people and causes damage to their lives, families, communities and broader society. It can be prevented through a range of strategies, including knowing the signs of gambling problems and understanding how to change your behaviour.
A good starting point for anyone with concerns about gambling is to speak to someone who can help. This could be a family member or a friend, a health professional or even your doctor.
It can be hard to talk about gambling, especially if you’ve been affected by it yourself. But it’s a serious problem and you should seek help if you’re experiencing symptoms such as:
Depression, stress or substance abuse can all cause gambling problems. It’s important to seek treatment for these issues before you start gambling again, as they can make it more difficult to stop.
You can learn to relieve unpleasant feelings in healthier ways and find more productive activities that don’t involve gambling, such as exercising or learning to relax. It’s also a good idea to keep a budget so you know how much you can afford to spend on gambling.
In general, there are three types of harm from gambling: those that occur when you gamble, those that arise when you don’t gamble and legacy harms. The first type of harm is the most immediate and occurs when you gamble.
These harms can include loss of confidence and self-esteem, social isolation, financial difficulties and legal problems. They can also involve thoughts of suicide and other serious consequences, such as death.
A person with a gambling problem often also has other problems such as mental health or financial problems, so it’s important to address these as well. It’s also a good idea if you’re gambling with someone else to have an open line of communication, so they don’t feel left out or threatened by your actions.
There’s also a link between gambling problems and mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, so it’s important to be able to deal with these. You can’t stop thinking about gambling but you can try to reduce the amount that you gamble or change your habits around it.
Gambling is a complex and addictive behaviour. You should never gamble with money you can’t afford to lose.