Gambling is an activity in which a person risks something of value on an event that is determined at least in part by chance, with the aim of winning something else of value. While most people think of casino games, lotteries, sports betting or the pokies when they hear the word gambling, it can be much more than just a recreational activity. Gambling can also harm a person’s physical and mental health, their relationships with family and friends, affect work or study performance and lead to debt and homelessness. If you have a gambling problem it’s important to seek help as early as possible. If you feel like gambling is harming your life, call our confidential helpline or chat online with one of our counsellors. It’s free, confidential and available 24/7.
While many people gamble for fun, some become addicted to it. The number of people with problem gambling is estimated to be around two million in the United States alone. It’s difficult to say exactly how many people in the UK struggle with this issue, but it is known that it can lead to financial problems, depression and even suicide. It’s also been linked to domestic violence and child abuse, which can have a detrimental effect on the whole family.
Psychiatrists are trained to help people with problem gambling, and we can provide support to address the issues you may be having and assist in developing a plan for recovery. We can offer individual and group therapy, relapse prevention planning, educational workshops, family and couples counseling, as well as credit counseling.
We can also refer you to specialist services that provide inpatient and residential treatment programs for people with gambling addiction, as well as detox services and medication for addictions. These are designed to help you break the addictive cycle of gambling and learn healthier coping skills to deal with unpleasant emotions and stress.
Gambling is a very common form of addiction that can cause serious harm to your physical and mental health, as well as your family and finances. It’s important to seek help as early as you can and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
The nomenclature used for different kinds of gambling and gambling problems is a source of confusion. Researchers, psychiatrists and other treatment care clinicians tend to frame questions of the nature and causes of gambling problems from their own disciplinary perspective and world view, with varying emphasis placed on recreational interest, diminished mathematical ability, poor judgment, mental illness, moral turpitude and other factors. These varying perspectives have made it challenging to develop a shared nomenclature to facilitate discussion and understanding.