In today’s stress-riddled fast-paced world, with so many people suffering from anxiety and depression, how do you maintain your balance to avoid developing addictions such as gambling? It starts by being aware of risk factors associated with gambling addictions. These include having had a big win early in our gambling history, having had a recent loss or change, such as divorce or death of a loved one or having financial problems. Gambling becomes a concern if you find that you use it to escape from problems or to get relief from anxiety or if it is causes you to ignore your physical and emotional health. If some of the things are making you wonder if you have a problem with gambling, take heart. You have more control over your life than you may realize. In fact, recognizing that you may have a problem is powerful and can be the first step in reaching out for help.
Karen Hlady, Community Engagement & Prevention Service Provider, Gambling Awareness Program, BCResponsibleGambling.ca