Gambling is any activity that involves a wager on something with the hope of winning something of value. It can be anything from buying a lottery ticket to betting on the outcome of a football game.
Harms related to gambling can be severe and long term, causing significant harm to the person who gambles, their relationships with others and their broader community. They can also lead to financial problems, homelessness and suicide.
People who gamble may think differently about betting than other people, and they may have beliefs about how to win. For example, they might believe that certain rituals will bring them luck or that they are more likely to win than they actually are. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you change these beliefs and behaviours.
Problem gambling can be caused by a variety of factors including depression, stress, alcohol abuse or anxiety. These problems can make it harder to control your gambling and stop it causing harm.
Getting help can help you manage your gambling and prevent it from causing further problems in your life. It might involve talking to your doctor or family and friends, attending a support group, or finding a gambling addiction treatment program.
Learning how to self-soothe unpleasant feelings in healthier ways, such as exercise or spending time with friends who don’t gamble, can also be helpful. These can help you reduce the amount you spend on gambling and make it less harmful for yourself.