Recognising the Signs of a Gambling Problem


Gambling is a type of entertainment where people place bets on the outcome of an event. It can be a fun way to socialize and make new friends, but it is also possible for individuals to become addicted to gambling. It is important to recognize the signs of a gambling problem and seek help from a professional.

Getting help for a gambling addiction may involve a combination of therapies, including cognitive behaviour therapy and family or individual counselling. These types of therapies can teach the person to stop their compulsive gambling and challenge irrational beliefs, such as the illusion of control and the gambler’s fallacy. They can also help the individual to identify triggers, such as the sights, sounds and smells of casinos, sports events or TV shows. These triggers can be avoided by taking an alternative route to work if it passes a casino, removing credit cards from their wallet or having someone else manage their money, closing online betting accounts and keeping only a small amount of cash on hand.

In addition to therapy, some individuals benefit from financial counselling to offer alternatives to gambling as a means of regaining financial security. A counsellor can help the person to identify underlying problems and find suitable solutions, such as debt repayment plans. They can also help a person to create an emergency fund and develop budgeting skills, so they are prepared for unexpected expenses in the future.

Individuals with a gambling problem often hide their behavior from others, as it can cause shame and embarrassment. However, if you suspect someone has a gambling problem, it is important to speak up in a supportive and caring manner. Being honest with the person will also increase their chances of opening up to you.

You should first try to understand the underlying issues that are causing your loved one to gamble. For example, a person with a gambling problem may have an undiagnosed mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, that is contributing to their gambling addiction. In addition, some people with a gambling problem may have personality traits or coexisting conditions that make them more likely to engage in risky behaviours.

It is also important to recognise that a person with a gambling problem can’t be forced to change their ways, no matter how much you love them. If they are unwilling to admit they have a problem, you should try to encourage them to seek professional help. Alternatively, you can support them by encouraging them to attend peer support groups like Gamblers Anonymous, which follows a twelve-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. You can also help by offering to cover their bills, if necessary. You may also consider adding a “notice of correction” to their credit file, which tells lenders not to lend money to the person based on the person’s gambling history. This can help prevent them from taking out loans to pay for their gambling habits.