Gambling is the risking of money or other valuables on an event involving chance. It includes games such as scratchcards, fruit machines and betting with friends. When people gamble, their brain releases a chemical called dopamine that makes them feel excited. When they win, it feels even more exciting. This can lead to a dangerous cycle of gambling, where the person loses control.
Gamblers often do not realise that they have a problem and try to rationalise their behaviour. For example, when they have a bad run, they may say things like “I was just having a bad day”. They might also lie to family members about their gambling activity. This can have serious consequences and can lead to debt problems.
People who have a gambling disorder may also use it as a way to avoid facing unpleasant emotions, such as anxiety or depression. They may also be attracted to gambling because of cultural values, which can make it difficult for them to recognise a problem.
It is important to seek help if you think you have a problem with gambling. There are treatments available and many people have overcome their addictions, and rebuilt their lives. If you have a problem, it is important to seek treatment immediately, before your situation gets worse. You can find support and treatment by speaking to a therapist. You can find a therapist by using the world’s largest therapy service, where you can get matched with a professional, licensed and vetted therapist in as little as 48 hours.