Gambling is putting something of value at risk in the hope that you’ll win something else of value. It can be a fun and exciting way to socialise or escape worries and stress, but for some people it can become a problem. This article explores how gambling affects your mental health, what to do if you think you or someone close to you might have a gambling problem and where to get help.
It’s not uncommon for some of us to bet on sports games, buy scratchcards or play online games. But, for many of us these things don’t constitute gambling. A real gamble involves placing a bet on something based on chance, and the odds are set by the betting company – for example a football team or an event. The outcome is determined by luck and, if you’re lucky enough to predict the outcome correctly, you’ll win money. If you’re not, you’ll lose the money you bet.
There are different types of gambling, and some are more dangerous than others. It’s important to understand the difference between a hobby and an addiction, as gambling can have serious consequences for your mental health if you don’t control it.