Gambling involves risking something of value, such as money or possessions, for the chance to win a prize. It can take many forms, from playing card games or board games for small amounts of money with friends to betting on football accumulators or the lottery. People can also gamble online and through telephone calls.
Some people are more at risk of gambling problems than others, including those who have mental health or family issues. Genetics, environment and medical history may contribute to the development of a gambling disorder. People who start gambling at a young age are also more likely to develop problems.
The first step to breaking a gambling addiction is admitting that you have a problem. This can be difficult, especially if your gambling has caused financial difficulties or strained relationships with family and friends. But remember, many people have overcome gambling disorders and rebuilt their lives.
Therapy can help with gambling disorders by helping you understand and cope with your feelings and thinking patterns. It can also teach you healthier ways to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as using exercise or spending time with friends who don’t gamble. You can try psychodynamic therapy, which explores unconscious processes that may affect your behavior, or group therapy. Some people find it helpful to seek out family and relationship counseling, or credit or finance counseling. BetterHelp can match you with a therapist who is familiar with gambling disorders and can provide support and guidance.