How Gambling Affects Your Life

Gambling involves risking something valuable (money) for a chance to win more money. It happens in many different places like casinos, racetracks, gas stations, and even online. It is a common activity that evokes a variety of emotions such as excitement, regret and guilt. But for a small but significant portion of people, gambling has a much more negative impact on their lives than it is worth.

Problem gambling can affect anyone, but it is particularly prevalent among people with lower incomes and young people. Some people who gamble may not realize they have a problem and can develop a gambling disorder that is difficult to treat. Problem gambling can cause financial hardships, family distress and personal problems. It can also interfere with work and lead to unemployment.

People who have a gambling disorder make repeated unsuccessful attempts to control, reduce or stop gambling. They often feel distressed or guilty about their gambling and lie to conceal it. They may also try to recoup losses by borrowing money or rely on others to help them pay their gambling debts. They may even jeopardize relationships, job opportunities or their own health in order to gamble.

While you cannot control the actions of your loved one who is a gambler, you can change how you respond to them. Refrain from blaming them for their behavior and focus on how you can better care for yourself. Spend time with friends, maintain hobbies and participate in other activities to help you relieve stress.