Gambling is a risky activity that involves putting something of value at stake in exchange for a chance to win a prize. It can happen in a variety of places, such as casinos, racetracks, and even gas stations. People gamble for many reasons, from socialising with friends to escaping stress and anxiety. But if it becomes a habit, gambling can take over your life and make you feel unable to control it.
There are many ways to get help if you have a problem with gambling. You can speak to a mental health professional, try self-help tips or join a support group. There are also organisations that specialise in helping people with gambling problems, including some that offer free debt advice.
Some of these organisations also have an online service where you can talk to a therapist, who will be able to advise you on what your options are for treatment or recovery. They may be able to recommend a local counsellor or suggest other types of therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
CBT looks at the beliefs that lead to problematic betting behaviour, like believing you’re more likely to win if you follow certain rituals, or that you can win back money you’ve lost by gambling more. You can also find out more about your own personal triggers and learn healthy coping mechanisms, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble or taking up a new hobby.