Gambling involves putting money on events with the potential to win money. It is often associated with the feeling of euphoria that comes from winning, which is linked to the brain’s reward system. People gamble for many different reasons, including to relieve stress, to change their mood, and to socialize with friends. People who have mental health problems are more likely to be at risk of harmful gambling behaviors. It’s important to seek help if you think you have a problem with gambling or are worried about someone you know.
In some cases, people who gamble have a condition called pathological gambling (PG). This means they have recurrent and maladaptive patterns of behavior that cause harm to themselves or others. PG can start in adolescence or early adulthood and may affect both men and women. Typically, the disorder appears to run in families. People who have a mental illness such as depression or anxiety may be at risk of PG.
It’s important to talk about your concerns and problems with gambling with somebody you trust who won’t judge you. A counsellor can help you look at the bigger picture, think about how your gambling is affecting your life and relationships, and come up with ways to reduce the harm. We can match you with a therapist who is specially trained to work with gambling issues. Our service is free and confidential. Read the stories of people who have overcome their gambling problems and rebuilt their lives.