Whether you purchase a lotto ticket, bet on sports events or flutter the pokies, gambling can be an enjoyable form of entertainment. But you should always remember that there’s a real possibility you will lose money and should budget accordingly. Don’t gamble with money that you need for rent or bills and make sure you’re only spending what you can afford to lose. It’s also important to recognise the triggers that lead you to gamble. For example, many people gamble to self-soothe unpleasant emotions or relieve boredom. Try to find healthier ways of relieving these feelings, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble or trying new hobbies.
For some people, gambling can become an addiction. If you feel like you can’t control your gambling, seek help. There are several ways you can get help for a gambling problem, including attending a residential or inpatient treatment program and seeking support through peer groups such as Gamblers Anonymous.
If you’re struggling with a gambling problem, it’s important to surround yourself with people who can hold you accountable and avoid tempting environments and websites. It’s also helpful to learn healthy coping strategies, such as taking regular breaks and setting money and time limits for gambling. If you’re still struggling, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor about medication to help manage your symptoms. You can find a range of medications that are used to treat gambling disorders, including SSRIs and antidepressants.