Gambling Triggers

Gambling is the wagering of something of value on an event with a random outcome. The act of gambling is often associated with an emotional response and the compulsion to gamble can be triggered by triggers such as:

A common trigger for people with harmful gambling habits is socialising at gambling venues and being around friends who also gamble. Other triggers include:

Research has found that gambling can affect a person’s mental health, with some individuals experiencing depression and anxiety. It can be a difficult habit to break and requires support from family, friends, and counselling services.

Individuals may be unable to control their spending or find alternative ways to cope with stress or negative emotions, which can lead to gambling as an escape. Some people find that gambling is a fun way to spend time with friends, but others can become addicted. The behaviour can lead to financial problems and the person may rely on loans or credit cards for money, which can cause further distress.

Problem gamblers are more likely to experience a range of psychological problems including anxiety, stress and low self-esteem. They are also at risk of developing a substance use disorder, which can be life-threatening.

It is important to understand that a person with a gambling addiction is not a bad person. The condition can have serious consequences and it affects all aspects of their life. It can impact on their work, relationships and even their home life. Those close to them can feel confused, angry and anxious. Providing them with emotional and financial support is essential, but it is important to separate their behaviour from the person.

A person with a gambling addiction can be influenced by genetics, environment and lifestyle. Studies have shown that some people are more prone to gambling than others, and these factors can be related to their level of social capital, education, community size and religion.

Symptoms of harmful gambling can include mood swings, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, poor judgement, cognitive distortions, and an increased risk-taking behaviour. The addictive nature of gambling can lead to debt and bankruptcy, which can have serious implications for the person’s wellbeing.

There are a number of strategies that can help someone to overcome their addiction to gambling. These include avoiding triggers, challenging negative thinking, and delaying gratification. For example, if you are tempted to gamble, say to yourself “I’ll wait an hour”, and then go about your day. This will give you the time you need to overcome the urge. Another way to ward off temptation is to find healthy activities to fill the time that you used to gamble, such as exercising, doing hobbies and spending quality time with family or friends. This can also help to reduce loneliness. Lastly, it is important to speak with a trusted family member or counsellor who has experience in gambling harm. This can be a helpful way to discuss the issue in an emotionally safe and supportive environment.