How Gambling Affects Us and How BetterHelp Can Help

Gambling is the act of betting something of value (like money or property) on an uncertain event with awareness of risk and in the hope of winning a prize. The activity can range from scratchcards and lottery games purchased by poor people, through to the sophisticated casino gambling enjoyed by the wealthy. The majority of people who gamble do so responsibly, but some people develop harmful gambling behaviours that can damage their lives and those around them.

Harmful gambling can affect an individual’s mental and physical health, their relationships with family, friends and work colleagues, their ability to perform at home or at work, get them into debt or even result in homelessness. Approximately 1 million adults in the UK are thought to have a gambling problem, and over half of all adults participate in some form of gambling activity.

The type of gambling that occurs will have a significant impact on whether someone becomes addicted. Some forms of gambling are more likely to cause harm than others, but it’s important to recognise that all forms of gambling are inherently risky and can lead to a variety of problems. The risk of harm increases with the frequency and intensity of a person’s gambling.

A person’s environment can also have a strong influence on their approach and behaviour in relation to gambling, and this may be particularly the case for young people. For example, being in a place where a lot of other people are gambling may encourage them to participate. In addition, many children are exposed to advertising for gambling from an early age, which can encourage them to engage in the activity later in life.

There are a number of things that can be done to help overcome harmful gambling behaviours, including support groups and therapy. A key step is acknowledging that there is a problem and seeking help. If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s gambling, BetterHelp can match you with a licensed therapist who can provide support and guidance. Get started with a free assessment and begin your recovery journey today.