What is a Gambling Disorder?

Gambling is a way of risking something of value for the chance of winning an even greater prize. This can happen on any game involving chance, whether it’s scratchcards, fruit machines or sports betting. Gambling can also include online gaming and some video games, where the chance of winning or losing is influenced by skill.

Gambling can be a fun and rewarding activity, but some people develop a gambling disorder which can be harmful to them or others. Problem gambling can affect anyone, regardless of age or background, and can lead to other health problems like depression, substance abuse, or even suicide.

There are different treatments for gambling disorders, but it’s important to recognise the signs early on. If you think you might have a gambling disorder, you can seek help from a specialist service. They can help you to understand your gambling behaviour, and support you in breaking the habit.

If you want to stop gambling, start by setting limits on how much money you can spend and stick to them. Try to only gamble with cash, and don’t take out credit cards or have other people manage your money for you. This will prevent you from being tempted by other temptations.

You may also need to learn to relieve unpleasant feelings in healthier ways, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble or trying relaxation techniques. It can be difficult to admit you have a problem, especially if you’ve lost a lot of money and strained relationships as a result. But many people have overcome a gambling addiction, and there’s hope for you too.