How Gambling Can Be Harmful If It Becomes an Addiction


Gambling involves risking something of value on a random event with the intention to win money or other things of value. It can be fun and exciting for some people, but it can also be harmful if it becomes an addiction.

It is thought that gambling causes problems because of the way it hijacks the brain’s learning mechanism through random rewards. People who engage in pathological gambling can be at risk of harming themselves or others, and they may hide their gambling activities.

Having an addiction to gambling can be incredibly stressful and cause relationships to break down. It’s important to recognise when you or someone close to you is struggling, and seek help early on. The most difficult step is admitting you have a problem, but there are many services available that can provide support, advice and counselling for those affected by gambling-related harm.

Harmful gambling can be triggered by mood disorders such as depression, stress and substance abuse. It can also be made worse by financial difficulties, which can lead to compulsive gambling. Seek help for any underlying mood disorders, and look at ways to improve your finances.

People who gamble often do so as a way to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as loneliness or boredom. Try to find healthier ways of relieving these emotions, such as exercise, spending time with friends who don’t gamble and practicing relaxation techniques.

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