Few people think that gambling is or can be an addiction. But there is a red line that anyone can cross when gambling changes from an enjoyable pastime to something that spirals out of control and can get them into great financial difficulties. Part of the challenge is that people gamble because they hope for better things. We all dream of what we will do with our lottery jackpot or the winnings on a sporting event. It is this very hope that takes you deeper into gambling and becomes the barrier to successfully managing what quickly can become a gambling addiction.

If you are in financial difficulty or simply struggling to get by, it may seem that gambling is a solution to the problem. Be warned it very seldom is. Gambling debt grows quickly  and people take more risks to try to reduce it by gambling more. It all rests on that one big win. To compound the problem, the more problematic gambling becomes, the more likely you are to hide this from family and friends because of the stigma associated with it. Distress caused by problematic gambling and spiralling debt often has a negative impact on physical and mental health. This is why it is important to recognise problem gambling as a condition that requires support and treatment by someone who doesn't judge you but understands the psychological drivers behind gambling addiction. The National Gambling Helpline can help people if they are worried about their gambling activities. You don't have to suffer in silence or battle on your own to try to manage problematic gambling. Contact The National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133.