Gambling involves placing bets on a random event, such as a football match or scratchcard, to win money. The outcome is based on chance and is not always predictable, although there are some rules to gambling which can help you manage your chances of winning.
Harmful gambling outcomes can occur in a number of different ways and are not necessarily related to the type of betting or level of gambling activity engaged with. The harm can be a result of the person engaging in gambling and the impact it has on themselves or others, the environment in which they gamble or a combination of these factors.
Using gambling to self-soothe unpleasant feelings can be harmful, for example it may lead to people placing more bets and losing money than they should. Instead, they should learn to relieve these feelings in healthier ways, such as exercising, spending time with friends who do not gamble or learning relaxation techniques.
Understanding your own gambling habits and behaviours can be difficult, but it is important to take responsibility for your actions. It’s also a good idea to seek support if you feel your gambling is becoming too much and causing problems in your life.
There are many ways to overcome a gambling addiction, and it is important to get support from family, friends or a treatment provider. There are also a number of 12-step recovery programs, such as Gamblers Anonymous. These are based on Alcoholics Anonymous, and can be very helpful.