Recognising the Symptoms of Gambling


Gambling is the activity of risking something of value, like money or goods, on a random event with the hope of winning a prize. It can be done in a wide variety of ways, from betting on football matches to buying scratchcards. The key to gambling is knowing the risks and the odds of winning.

Gambling can cause problems when it gets out of control. It can affect your life in many ways, including damaging your relationships, causing stress and affecting your finances. It can also lead to depression and other mental health problems. If you have a problem with gambling, there are treatment options available. These can help you overcome your addiction and get your life back on track.

If you have a gambling problem, it’s important to recognise the symptoms. These include:

Feeling the need to gamble secretively or lie about how much you spend on gambling. Often, people who have an unhealthy relationship with gambling try to hide their behaviour from others, but this can damage your relationships. It can also lead to a cycle of borrowing money and hiding evidence of your gambling activities.

Thinking about gambling constantly, to the point where it interferes with your daily life and causes stress. This is called compulsive gambling and it can be very difficult to break out of. It may be helpful to seek support from family members, a therapist or even a helpline like GamCare.

Having feelings of anger, frustration or guilt when you lose money. You may also feel the urge to gamble as a way of distracting yourself from negative thoughts or emotions. It’s important to find other ways of dealing with these issues, such as talking about them in therapy, finding a new hobby or getting non-judgemental support from a helpline.

Spending too much time at home playing the pokies or watching sports on TV. These are triggers for gambling for many people, so it’s a good idea to change your routine and spend more time with friends or in the great outdoors. It’s also important to stay hydrated, so drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol, as it can make you more likely to gamble.

Having a gambling disorder can cause financial problems, relationship difficulties and other serious issues. The first step to overcoming it is admitting you have a problem, which can be very difficult, especially when you’ve lost a lot of money or have strained your relationships. But you’re not alone – there are treatments that can help you, and many others have recovered from a gambling disorder. You can start the journey towards recovery today. Take our assessment, and we’ll match you with a therapist who can help. It’s free, confidential and takes just 48 hours. So, what are you waiting for?