Gambling and Mood Disorders

Gambling involves the risk of something of value, usually money, on a game of chance with an uncertain outcome. It can be done in many places, including casinos, racetracks, and even gas stations and church halls. It also takes place in the virtual world on the Internet. Gambling is often associated with mood disorders such as depression and stress. Problem gambling can affect a person’s work, family, and social life.

People can benefit from talking about their gambling with someone who won’t judge them – this could be a family member, friend or professional counsellor. They can reduce their financial risks by getting rid of credit cards, making arrangements with their bank to block automatic payments, closing online betting accounts or keeping only a small amount of cash on them. They can also find other ways to socialise and relieve boredom, such as going to the cinema or visiting friends who don’t gamble.

People should always gamble for entertainment purposes only and only with money they can afford to lose. They should set a time limit before they start and leave when that time is up, whether they are winning or losing. They should never try to make up for previous losses by gambling more, which is known as chasing. They should also avoid gambling when they are depressed, upset, or angry, and learn to deal with unpleasant feelings in healthier ways. They should avoid using gambling as a way to escape from stressful or upsetting situations, such as after a fight with their spouse or a difficult day at work.