Gambling involves placing something of value (money, property or other assets) on an event with some element of randomness and the aim of winning. It includes all forms of betting and wagering, including lotteries, casino games, sports gambling (including horse and greyhound races and football accumulators) and speculating on business, politics or stock markets.
While some people will be able to gamble responsibly without a problem, it is important for others to seek help if they have problems. A GP or NHS support service can offer help and guidance, but more specialist treatment for gambling disorder may be needed. Symptoms of gambling disorder include lying to friends and family, hiding money and missing events to gamble, and putting a strain on relationships. In severe cases, it can lead to thoughts of suicide. If a person has thoughts of suicide, they should be offered urgent professional help.
While it can be difficult to stop gambling, it is possible to regain control of one’s finances and lifestyle. There are many different types of therapy for gambling disorders, and finding the right one for you will depend on the nature of your problem. It is also important to understand the reasons why you are gambling, and try to address these issues. It is often the case that the urge to gamble is a response to other issues, such as financial stress, boredom or mental health issues. Getting to the root cause of these problems can help you quit gambling.