Whether it’s playing lotto, betting on horses or sports events, using the pokies or gambling in casinos, most people gamble at some stage. While some gamble for fun and as a social activity, others can become addicted and experience financial problems. Problem gambling can be treated with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT will help you change your thoughts about gambling, such as believing that certain rituals bring luck and that you can win back any losses by gambling more. It will also help you to identify triggers that cause you to gamble.
Gambling is a complex topic, and there are many benefits as well as risks. For example, it can be an excellent way to learn about probability and statistics, especially if the game being played is not random but involves skill. It can also be a great way to socialize with friends, as it’s often a group activity that involves visiting casinos, hanging out at the race track or pooling resources to buy lottery tickets.
On the other hand, gambling can be very harmful to mental health. For those with depression or other mental illnesses, the excitement of anticipating a big win can be overwhelming and even delusional. Similarly, the devastation of losing can be extremely painful and lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair.
If you’re worried about your gambling habits, get in touch with your GP. They can assess your symptoms and refer you for further support if necessary. There is a range of treatment options available for those with a gambling disorder, from self-help programs to inpatient or residential treatment and rehab.