It’s common for us to hear that people worry their problems aren’t bad enough to reach out for help. They’re embarrassed because they think they might be being dramatic, and that help is only for people with ‘real’ problems. We want you to know, it’s ok! Things don’t have to be really bad before you reach out for help. If you’re experiencing even a little harm related to gambling, it can be really useful to get some support to get things under control.
This week is Gambling Harm Awareness Week in many parts of Australia, so we think it’s a good time to examine what harm might look like.
The experience of gambling harms can be different for everybody, but some common issues we hear are:
- Feeling strapped for time: you might be spending time gambling that you would prefer to spend, or had previously spent, working, having fun or having quality time with loved ones.
- Feeling strapped for cash: you might find yourself spending more money on gambling than you want to or more than you can spare.
- Experiencing guilt or anxiety: you might feel stressed before or after you gamble, or you may feel irritable when attempting to cut down
- Relationships feel more difficult: you might be feeling stressed about hiding your losses or the extent of your involvement with gambling from loved ones, or fighting with them about your behaviours.
- Feeling preoccupied with gambling: you might be having persistent thoughts around accessing money with which to gamble, or planning the next venture.
The harms you notice might be different — you might be finding you’re not enjoying the footy as much because you’re distracted thinking about your wager, or the family cat doesn’t want to hang out with you anymore because you’re always getting grouchy and swearing at your phone. You might be worried that you’re drinking more beer because you spend more time at the club. It doesn’t matter what kind of harm you’re experiencing, if it bothers you, it might be worth getting in touch with us for some support. Your life doesn’t have to be falling apart around you — you just have to feel that life could be a little better. We can help you figure out how to deal with the harms you are experiencing and what might be the next best step.