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DR MAX PEMBERTON: Beware before you gamble on that World Cup dream

Charity GambleAware has warned that an increased risk of compulsive gambling threatens to spoil the fun of the World Cup, which is now officially underway

The World Cup is now underway and people across the country will be taking to the television to cheer on their team.

However, charity GambleAware has warned that an increased risk of compulsive gambling threatens to spoil the fun, especially given the cost of living crisis and the alluring dream of a big win.

The timing of games makes matters worse, not just because of the impending Christmas expenses, but because people are more often at home in the winter, with easy access to online gaming apps.

New research has shown that 43% of football fans plan to place a bet during the World Cup and, of these, more than a third say financial pressures may cause them to play more than they need to. wished.

Charity GambleAware has warned that an increased risk of compulsive gambling threatens to spoil the fun of the World Cup, which is now officially underway

Charity GambleAware has warned that an increased risk of compulsive gambling threatens to spoil the fun of the World Cup, which is now officially underway

In total, a third of all fans admit to feeling worried about how much they could lose.

What is particularly worrying is that many of them will be novices, with a quarter of people who don’t usually bet on football planning to do so during the tournament in Qatar.

And it’s not just men at risk. About a third of all bets on sporting events are placed by women.

Although historically they have not tended to bet on international football – one in ten bets at the last World Cup were made by women – it is believed that many more will use apps this year, due interest in the games generated by the Lionesses.

In fact, research data suggests that women with online accounts for casino-type games tend to bet more often, for longer, and spend more than men.

In response to these disturbing statistics, GambleAware has launched a new campaign to help prevent people from getting into problem gambling.

New research has shown that 43% of football fans plan to place a bet.  Dr Max Pemberton (pictured) is concerned about this and has detailed some advice

New research has shown that 43% of football fans plan to place a bet. Dr Max Pemberton (pictured) is concerned about this and has detailed some advice

This is a topic close to my heart as I see many desperate gambling addicts in my clinic and know how easily a few bets can escalate, especially if someone is depressed or stressed.

The damage it does is truly devastating: I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen someone come to A&E feeling suicidal after racking up huge debts.

And yet, this type of addiction, as opposed to an alcohol or drug problem, is often misunderstood. Frankly, it’s not taken seriously by the medical establishment. In medical school, I was not taught anything about how to deal with drug addicts.

I’m not a killjoy. It’s fine to have the occasional flutter, but when it starts to spiral, the fallout can destroy relationships, friendships and families.

The three main warning signs to look for in someone struggling with gambling include losing track of time, spending more than they can afford, and keeping it a secret from others.

This addiction can affect anyone, which is why it’s so important to talk about it, because a friend or loved one might not seem to have a problem.

If you’re worried about someone, it’s often hard to know how to bring it up. But a conversation can break down the stigma and reassure the person involved that they are not alone. Here is my advice on how to bring it.

  • It’s easier to have the conversation during the day, when neither of you has been drinking alcohol. Avoid times when you’re both harassed or stressed, as you’re less likely to have a meaningful and constructive conversation.
  • Timing can be everything. Make sure you both have time for a good conversation and that there are no distractions.
  • Sometimes people have an easier time talking about difficult topics when sitting side by side in the car, as it avoids excessive eye contact which can sometimes be perceived as threatening.
  • Don’t bring it up in the middle of an argument or as part of a list of complaints.
  • Be prepared that they may react with annoyance or dismiss your concerns at first, but don’t give up. If you get stuck and don’t know where to turn, there are plenty of resources online for advice and help.

Whether you are worried about your own game or someone else’s, you can get help and support from the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. seven.

Otherwise, head over to begamble conscient.org for more advice.

Robbie, treat your snoring… for Ayda

Ayda Field Williams discussed her 'completely dead' sex life with husband Robbie Williams (both pictured)

Ayda Field Williams discussed her ‘completely dead’ sex life with husband Robbie Williams (both pictured)

In a candid confession on her podcast, Ayda Field Williams discussed her “completely dead” sex life with her husband, Robbie Williams. The bedroom was once a place of “physical need”, she said, but four children have “obliterated” any chance for lovemaking. I’m sure a lot of couples will sympathize.

But there was something else that caught my eye: the impact of Robbie’s erratic sleep patterns and snoring on the couple. Ayda explained that sometimes even an earthquake won’t wake him up, but at other times he can’t sleep and will keep her awake too.

The impact of snoring on a partner should not be underestimated. The disruption it causes to their sleep can push people over the edge. There are remedies available and it’s worth checking out for medical conditions, such as sleep apnea.

Not only does it improve the life of the snorer, but it improves beyond measure the life of the person with whom he shares his bed.

In a major study from the University of Oxford, vapes were found to be twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy in helping people quit smoking. I am a strong advocate for switching from smokers to vapes. Although vapes are not without risk, they are much better than traditional cigarettes.

  • The NHS has been told to stop funding a number of procedures, such as tummy tucks, in a bid to save billions of pounds. I fully support the need for reasonable and evidence-based procedures. But going through the list, it includes operations such as circumcision, which can be very important for men with a tight foreskin; and varicose vein surgery, which can prevent ulcers from forming. I wonder how long before cataracts are also included? I would rather see the swollen, ossified layers of middle management in the NHS removed. If it were up to me, I would fire 80% of them and offer them clinical positions instead. This would eliminate waste and go a long way in solving the recruitment crisis at the same time. If they don’t have clinical experience, they can work as auxiliaries.

DR MAX PRESCRIBES… ELEVATING POETRY

This new book by best-selling mental health activist Rachel Kelly brings together writings and poems to help you get in touch with your emotions

This new book by best-selling mental health activist Rachel Kelly brings together writings and poems to help you get in touch with your emotions

Described as “poems for life’s ups and downs”, this new book by best-selling mental health activist Rachel Kelly brings together writings and poems to help you get in touch with your emotions and explore your feelings. A perfect gift for Christmas. (Hodder & Stoughton, £18.99).

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