Gambling is placing something of value, such as money, on an event with a random outcome in the hope of winning something else of value. It is a form of entertainment that can be legal or illegal. It is possible to gamble online, in casinos, or at home. People gamble using games such as lotteries, slot machines, bingo, instant scratch-off tickets, horse races, sports events, dice, and roulette.
Symptoms of compulsive gambling include: (1) a desire to gamble even when one has financial problems; (2) lying about the amount of time or money spent on gambling; (3) a compulsion to keep playing, regardless of winning or losing; (4) an urge to try to win back lost funds (called “chasing”); (5) committing illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, embezzlement, and other crimes in order to finance gambling; and (6) jeopardizing important relationships, educational or career opportunities, or jobs because of gambling. Those who suffer from gambling disorder also tend to experience mood disorders such as depression, stress, and anxiety.
Those who are worried that they may have a problem with gambling should consider seeking professional help. Several types of treatment are available, including cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy. It is also important to find a support group to discuss the problem with other people who have similar concerns. The support group will be able to provide helpful advice and encouragement. In addition, it is a good idea to learn as much as you can about the addiction to gambling and how it works in the brain.