Gambling is a risky activity, and any form of gambling can have negative effects on your health. It can harm your relationships, performance at work or study, get you into trouble with the law and leave you in debt and homelessness.

There are many benefits to gambling if it is done in a responsible way, and the right information can help you make better choices. Fortunately, gambling can also be a great social activity and an excellent way to meet new people.

It can improve your creativity and problem-solving skills.

The excitement associated with gambling can boost your mood and have a positive effect on your well-being.

However, gambling can also be addictive if you are not careful. In some cases, it can lead to mental health problems and become a serious addiction.

A problem with gambling can be a symptom of a mental health condition called pathological gambling, which is a disorder that is now formally recognised by the American Psychiatric Association in its DSM-5 handbook.

If you think that someone you know has a problem with gambling, there are things you can do to support them. These include:

Counselling can help you understand the reason behind a loved one’s gambling behaviour, and how it is impacting their life. It can also help you understand what steps you should take to support them in stopping the behaviour and developing a healthier lifestyle.

A support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, can be a valuable source of peer support and advice to help you break the cycle of problem gambling. It can also help you to recognise your own feelings and triggers as you try to stop the behaviour.