Bethany examines some of the reasons that gambling can become problematic.
A phrase we hear very often is: “it’s not a problem if I’m winning”. However, even if you’re on a winning streak, gambling can still become a problem.
For some people, gambling is a form of entertainment. It can be a leisure activity or be a form of expense as part of a set budget. However, for some the time, money and way they think about gambling can start to affect their everyday life.
Problem gambling can lead to a person missing out on important events in their life. This could be physically missing the event due to time spent gambling or because they are not mentally present – they’re constantly distracted by gambling. It can also cause financial instability, damage relationships with people they care about and can have a detrimental impact on mental health.
Gambling can cause the feeling of a ‘high’ when you win – or when you’re anticipating ‘the big win’. It can offer a relief from other issues going on in life, but this will not last – the wins lead to losses. A cycle can develop quickly if you are not careful – chasing wins or chasing losses, ploughing money into gambling to ‘win back’ what you’ve lost. It may feel like it’s working in the short term, but over time you will lose more than you will win, and feelings of despair start to creep in.
In these cases, others also start to be affected. Changes in moods, trying to hide financial strains or not being open about the issue can hurt relationships, even without financial difficulties.
Whatever impact gambling is having on you, whatever your level of doubt or worry, GamCare can help you.
You can speak to our advisers every day on Freephone 0808 8020 133 or through live chat. Our team can offer help and support if you want to change your relationship with gambling or stop gambling completely. If someone else’s gambling is affecting you, they’re also on hand to offer emotional help and practical support.