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Gambling can be a fun activity, but it can also become a problem for some people. It can lead to debt, poor relationships and serious health problems. It can also affect your work and study performance, make you feel stressed and anxious and impact on your family life.

When someone has a gambling problem, it can be difficult to understand why they are gambling so much and how to stop. However, there are many ways to help a person with a gambling problem to stop.

The first step is to recognise that you may have a gambling problem. If you think you are gambling too much, talk to a health professional about what you are doing and how to stop. You can also use GamCare’s self-assessment tool to find out if you have a problem.

You can also find information and support by visiting the National Gambling Helpline. They offer free advice and support to anyone who has been affected by gambling, including young people.

Defining gambling

Gambling is a type of wagering where a stake is put on a game of chance, for example a football match or a scratchcard. It is a risky activity, because you cannot predict whether you will win or lose. You can lose a lot of money, or you can win a small amount.

It is important to remember that all types of gambling have a degree of risk involved. This is because you can’t control the outcome of the game and the odds are designed to work against you.

There are several ways to prevent yourself from gambling, including setting boundaries in your finances and monitoring your credit card statements. You can also help a loved one with a gambling problem to stop by taking over management of their finances, making sure that you don’t encourage them to gamble or cover up their debts.

You may have a gambling problem if you spend more time gambling than you do working, studying or socialising. You are spending more money than you are earning or are gambling to get rid of unpleasant emotions, such as stress, anger or depression.

A gambler will usually need to change how they think about betting, and this is where cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help. CBT can help a person to overcome the thinking patterns that can be associated with a gambling problem, such as believing that certain rituals can bring them luck or that they are more likely to win if they gamble more.

The best way to deal with a gambling problem is to seek help and support, and to address any underlying mood disorders that may be causing the problem. These disorders are common in people with a gambling problem, and can continue to affect the person’s life even after they have stopped gambling.

If you or a loved one has a gambling problem, there are organisations who can help. They can provide advice and support, and can even arrange treatment or counselling.