How to Avoid Gambling Problems

Gambling is a widespread activity that involves placing wagers on the outcome of events. It has a long history and is found in most societies around the world. Gambling can take many forms, from legal and socially sanctioned to illegal and criminal. It can be a source of fun and entertainment, or it can lead to serious problems such as family discord, bankruptcy, and addiction.

Those who gamble are exposed to a range of emotions and behaviors associated with gambling, including feelings of exhilaration, fear, anger, anxiety, and depression. In addition, problem gamblers often engage in risk-taking behavior and may be prone to lying, denial, and evasion (American Psychiatric Association 2000).

There are several ways that you can reduce your chances of developing a gambling problem. For example, only gamble with money that you can afford to lose. Also, avoid using credit cards or other debt to fund your gambling activities. It is also important to balance gambling with other activities, and never gamble when you are feeling emotional or upset. Finally, make a rule to leave the casino or TAB when you have reached your time limit.

It is also helpful to talk about your gambling with a friend or therapist. Gambling addiction can lead to isolation, so having a support system is an important part of recovery. Other helpful resources include marriage, family therapy, and career, financial, and credit counseling. These services can help you work through specific issues that have contributed to your gambling problems, and they can lay the groundwork for repairing your relationships and finances.