Gambling involves risking something of value (money, items of personal significance, or even one’s health) on an event whose outcome is uncertain. It is a common pastime, but it can be problematic when it becomes a compulsive habit. People who gamble often experience a high rush when things move their way, which may make it harder to recognize when it is time to quit. There are also a number of other factors that may cause someone to develop a gambling problem. These include:
Some people may find it hard to recognise a gambling problem because their culture or community considers gambling as a normal pastime, making it difficult to identify when there is a problem. In addition, some people may be reluctant to admit that they have a problem or seek help because of the shame associated with this.
Developing a healthy relationship with gambling requires setting clear boundaries and establishing a regular routine. This will prevent gambling from taking over your life and should not interfere with friends, family, work or other enjoyable activities. It is important to balance gambling with other forms of entertainment, and never gamble money that you need for bills or rent. It is also helpful to set money and time limits before gambling and always stop when you reach your limit. Avoid chasing losses, as this will almost always result in bigger losses. Also, avoid gambling when you are stressed, upset or emotional as these are all risk factors for problematic gambling.