The act of gambling involves putting something of value at risk for a chance to win more. It is a form of recreation, but can also be seen as an addictive behavior. People may gamble for a variety of reasons, including: for the excitement and thrill of winning, to meet new people, or as an outlet for stress. Gambling can lead to addiction, as well as serious financial issues and personal and family problems. Some people have genetic predispositions to thrill-seeking behaviors and impulsivity, which can contribute to problem gambling.
Some of the negative impacts associated with gambling include the loss of employment, social life and homelife, debt, health and well-being, and a diminished sense of self-esteem and identity. These costs are incurred both by the gambler and their significant others, and can be difficult to measure. A common methodology to quantify these impacts is using disability weights, which are based on the impact of a health state on the individual’s quality of life.
If you are having trouble controlling your gambling habits, try seeking support from friends and family, or attending a self-help group for problem gamblers such as Gamblers Anonymous. It is also helpful to find healthy ways to deal with stress and anger, such as exercise or talking through them in therapy. You can also seek help with your finances by contacting StepChange for free debt advice, and address any other mental health issues that might be contributing to your gambling.