Gambling is an activity where a person wagers something of value (usually money) on the outcome of a random event. The object of gambling is to win a prize. It’s also considered an addictive activity, as people with a problem struggle to control their urges. They often experience a variety of symptoms, including problems at work and home, as well as financial difficulties. They may even be at risk of suicide. The condition is so serious that it’s included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the book used by mental health professionals to diagnose psychological issues.
There are a number of negative consequences to gambling, but there are also some positives. In fact, some research suggests that gamblers have a better quality of life than non-gamblers. This can be attributed to the entertainment value and opportunity for social interaction. Moreover, it has been suggested that for seniors, gambling can be useful as an additional source of entertainment, and that they can derive pleasure from the expectation of a small win.
However, many people can develop a gambling problem, and it’s important to recognise the signs that you might have a problem. If you notice that you are spending more than you can afford to lose, or that your gambling is affecting your relationships or your work, seek help straight away. You can speak to one of our counsellors, free, confidential and available 24/7. They can help you understand the causes of your gambling addiction and how to stop.