Gambling is any game in which you stake something valuable (typically money) for the chance to win a prize that is determined at least partly by luck. It can be done on the Internet, in casinos, at racetracks and in many other places. Examples include playing lottery games, cards, bingo, slots, instant scratch tickets and races, as well as gambling on animal tracks, sporting events or dice.
People who have a gambling disorder develop a desire to gamble and can’t control their impulses. They also have a difficult time thinking about the consequences of their gambling, and they may hide their behavior or lie to family members about it. They often have a history of mood disorders such as depression or anxiety, which can trigger gambling problems or make them worse.
There are several ways to treat a gambling addiction, including therapy and self-help groups like Gamblers Anonymous. Some people benefit from medication. Counseling can help you understand your cravings and think about how to change them. It can also help you recognize and avoid triggers that lead to gambling.
A person who wants to stop gambling will need support from family and friends. It can be helpful to talk about how gambling affects your relationship with them. It’s also important to learn about what helps and hinders recovery, such as managing finances, getting exercise and avoiding alcohol and drugs. It can also be helpful to attend a support group for families such as Gam-Anon.