Day: May 23, 2023

Gambling involves the wagering of something of value on an event with a random outcome, where instances of strategy are discounted. It is considered to be a form of addiction because it can cause harm to the gambler, their family, friends and the wider community. In the early studies of gambling harms, researchers identified six different categories of harm. These reflected the broader impacts that gambling has on people, including the financial loss of money and possessions, social or emotional distress, impact on work or study and a decline in personal health. More recent research has added a seventh category of harm, related to the impact of gambling on people’s cultural identities, especially for those from strong religious beliefs, CALD groups or indigenous communities. There are many ways to seek help if you have a gambling problem. You can access treatment and rehab programs, which may be offered in an inpatient or residential setting. These are aimed at those with severe gambling addictions who cannot function in the outside world without round-the-clock support. You can also seek out a counsellor to assist you with your recovery. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be an effective approach to treating gambling addiction, and helps you learn to resist unwanted thoughts and habits. It can help you confront irrational beliefs, such as the notion that a string of losses makes you due for a win or that you can regain any lost money by betting more. Other methods of seeking help include self-help resources and peer support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. You can find a sponsor, a former gambler who has experience of staying free from gambling and who can provide guidance and support to you. You can also try to reduce your gambling by cutting down or stopping altogether. This can be difficult, but it is important to remember that you will be more in control of your life if you stop gambling. Finally, you can try to change the circumstances that lead you to gamble, for example by finding other activities to fill your time or by establishing stronger boundaries around gambling. This can include limiting your access to credit cards, having someone else manage your finances, closing online gambling accounts, and keeping a small amount of cash with you at all times. You can also strengthen your support network and find new hobbies, or take up exercise or learning a skill. It is also helpful to avoid situations where you might gamble, for example by not going to casinos or watching sports matches where betting is prevalent. You can also learn to cope with unpleasant emotions in healthier ways, such as by practicing relaxation techniques or spending time with friends who do not gamble. You can even consider joining a non-gambling club or activity, such as a book group, sports team, education class or volunteering for a charity. This will give you new experiences to focus on and replace your craving for gambling.

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