How to Recognise If Your Gambling is Getting Out of Hand


Gambling is an activity in which people bet something of value on a random event with the hope of winning money or other prizes. It can occur in many forms, including sports betting, casino games, and online gambling. In some cases, gambling can become an addiction that causes problems in your personal and professional life.

Almost half of the UK population gambles, with some doing it to a point that can have serious consequences. For example, it can damage your mental health, affect relationships with family and friends, interfere with work or study, cause debt, and even lead to homelessness. It’s important to recognise when your gambling is getting out of control, and to seek help if it does.

People gamble for a variety of reasons, from the thrill of winning to socialising with friends. It can also be a way to relieve unpleasant feelings such as boredom or loneliness. However, it’s important to remember that there are healthier ways to manage your moods and alleviate boredom, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, and trying relaxation techniques.

Gambling can be done in a variety of ways, and it can be difficult to tell if your gambling is getting out of control. Here are some warning signs:

1. You have thoughts of suicide or feel you can’t cope

You may be more at risk of harmful gambling if you have other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People with these conditions are also more likely to gamble to try to self-soothe unpleasant emotions, distract themselves, or escape their reality.

2. You are hiding your gambling activities

People who struggle with addiction can start to hide their gambling activity from their friends and family. This can be a sign that your gambling is getting out of hand, as it indicates that you are starting to lie about how much you’re spending and the amount of time you spend gambling.

3. You are using credit or borrowing to gamble

If you’re struggling with an addiction to gambling, it’s essential to find a support network and learn coping mechanisms. One great option is to join a peer support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which follows a 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. You’ll be able to get advice and guidance from others who have overcome their gambling addiction, as well as access to treatment services if you need them.