What is it?
Some people can gamble responsibly, but others find it hard to stop. Gambling becomes a problem when it starts to disrupt a person’s personal, family and work life. Problem gambling can also affect those around them.
If your quality of life is suffering due to your or someone else’s gambling, there is help.
What will my GP do?
If you have a problem with gambling, your GP can give you tools, resources and support to help you cut back or quit. Your GP will want to talk to you about how often you gamble and how you feel about gambling. You’ll be asked to talk about any symptoms or behaviours that might affect your gambling – for example, if you drink or take drugs.
Your GP will also:
- Talk to you about how you can keep track of your gambling
- Help you notice how your gambling affects you and your family
- Look for and treat any other health concerns related to your gambling, such as anxiety and depression
- Refer you to get further support. This referral could be to a to a gambling helpline or for counselling
- Give you information to help you learn more about gambling
If you are being affected by someone else’s gambling, your GP can also offer referrals and information on how you can get support. There are many support services available for those affected by gambling.
What can I do?
Gambling affects people from all walks of life and in different ways. It is ok to need some form of help to stop gambling. Remember, your GP is here to help you, and there is plenty of support available. Talk to your GP about a referral for a counsellor.
Changing a habit takes time and effort, and you may need to try a few times before you are able to stop completely. It may help to:
- Think about any triggers that cause you to rely on gambling, like alcohol or drugs. Talk to your GP about how to manage these triggers and ask for tools to help you cope with your urges to gamble
- Stay positive. Many people are able to overcome gambling problems and return to a good quality of life
- Try to stay active and healthy
- Follow up on any referrals your GP may make
- Use the resources available for people wanting to change their gambling behaviour
If you are being affected by someone else’s gambling, it is important that you seek support for yourself. Talk to your GP about what supports are available.