Gambling and Mental Health Issues


Gambling is a game of chance where someone places a bet on something with the hope of winning money or other things of value. People place wagers on sporting events, lottery tickets, casino games, bingo and even office pools.

There is a strong link between gambling and mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and stress. It is also associated with thoughts of suicide, so it is important to be aware if you are at risk for gambling harms.

Understanding why you gamble can help reduce your risk of problem gambling. It can also help you stop and prevent relapse.

If you think you might have a gambling problem, or know of someone who has, contact StepChange. We offer free, confidential debt advice and can help you take steps to reduce or stop gambling.

Taking steps to stop or cut down on gambling can be difficult but it is possible. It may take a little time and effort but it will be worth it in the end.

The most common way of treating gambling problems is to get professional help. You can get this help from a health professional or from a support group such as Gamblers Anonymous.

A problem with gambling can lead to financial, physical and emotional harm and have serious consequences for the person who is gambling. It can affect relationships, performance at work or studies, cause legal trouble and leave them in debt or homeless.

In the UK, around half the population gambles and many do not realise how damaging it can be. Public Health England estimates that more than 400 suicides per year are linked to gambling problems.

It can be hard to recognise when you are having a problem with gambling and getting treatment is not always easy. You may need to try different types of therapy until you find one that works for you.

If you are having problems with gambling, it is best to seek help before your condition worsens. You may need to change your behaviour or make some changes in your home environment. You might need to cut back on your spending or start saving instead.

You might want to consider talking to a counsellor or a friend or family member who can support you. There are many self-help groups and online resources available to help you.

There are also support groups for families who have a gambling problem. These are a great way to share experiences and help others to overcome their problems.

Getting help is the first step to a gambling-free life. There are a range of treatment options to help you, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), behavioural therapies and group therapy.

The most effective treatments have been shown to be those that target the root cause of the problem, such as the brain structure, comorbidity with other disorders, or the person’s physiology. Depending on the severity of your problem, you might need residential or inpatient treatment.

You might also need to learn new skills to help you resist the urge to gamble. This includes learning how to set a limit on how much money you can spend and knowing when to walk away from the table or machine. You might also need to practise coping strategies and mindfulness, which can help you stay calm and avoid feeling anxious about gambling.