Dealing With Gambling Addiction


Gambling involves making a bet on the outcome of an event, such as a sporting match or a lottery. People who gamble have many different reasons for doing so, including entertainment, profit, or a way to escape boredom or stress. However, gambling can also be an addictive behaviour, causing harm to the gambler and those around them. It can lead to debt and even homelessness.

Gamblers are affected by several factors, including early big wins, the size of the win, boredom susceptibility, impulsivity, poor understanding of random events, use of escape coping, stressful life experiences and depression. Those who are struggling with gambling addiction may find it difficult to quit, even when they realize that their behaviour is causing them problems. This is because problem gambling alters the brain’s reward system, leading to a reduced level of pleasure.

It is important to recognize that the person who gambles has control over their own actions and the only person they can change is themselves. It is therefore crucial to talk to them, but it’s equally important not to criticize or blame. They will be more open to discussing the issue if they know that you care and are trying to help them. When bringing up the topic, make sure you are in a private place and have enough time to talk without interruption.

You can try to encourage them to seek professional help by explaining the negative effects of their behaviour and pointing out that it is affecting you negatively as well. You could also offer to pay for counselling for them, but only if they agree to it. If you are unable to convince them to seek professional help, you could offer to manage their finances until they get their problem under control and put valuables in a safe deposit box.

If you have children, you could consider putting them in daycare until they can cope with their gambling and arrange family activities that don’t involve gambling. It’s also a good idea to look after their credit and EFTPOS cards and limit access to cash.

Encourage them to replace gambling with healthier ways of spending their time, such as exercising, playing a musical instrument or going for a walk in nature. Many people turn to gambling as a way of relieving unpleasant feelings, such as loneliness or boredom, but there are more healthy and effective ways of doing so.

It is also a good idea to help them find new friends who do not gamble. This will reduce the risk that they will feel tempted to gamble with them when they are bored or stressed. You can also help them find other sources of entertainment, such as reading or going to the movies. Lastly, you can suggest they try a hobby that does not involve gambling, such as painting or taking up a sport.