Whether it is buying a lotto ticket, betting on horse races or playing the pokies, gambling involves putting something of value at risk in the hope of winning money. Gambling is a form of entertainment that can also provide socialising opportunities for people to hang out and have fun with friends. But, for some, the addiction to gambling can become harmful and even life-threatening.
Generally, it is thought that gambling stimulates the brain by triggering certain chemical responses. The activity helps to develop new nerve connections and improves blood flow in the brain. This helps to keep the brain healthy and can help reduce the effects of depression. In addition, the excitement associated with gambling has been shown to trigger feelings of happiness.
It is also a form of entertainment for many people and is a way to escape from everyday worries or stress. However, for some people the addiction to gambling can get out of control and result in significant losses. In these cases, the person may start to view gambling as a job or an obligation and become obsessed with trying to win back their money.
It is important to speak up if you think that a loved one has a problem with gambling. Suggest calling a helpline, seeing a mental health professional or joining Gamblers Anonymous. Also, try not to judge them or belittle their behaviour and focus on offering support. This will help them to open up and receive treatment as quickly as possible.