Gambling is a type of entertainment in which you risk something valuable (like money or property) on an outcome that is determined at least partly by chance. It can include betting on sports events, card games, lottery or scratchcards, as well as betting with friends. Gambling can be addictive, and if you have a gambling disorder, it may cause serious problems in your life.
The most common types of treatment for gambling disorders are cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. CBT helps you identify and change negative thoughts that fuel your gambling behavior, while motivational interviewing encourages you to make healthy changes. You can also find help in self-help groups for problem gamblers, such as Gamblers Anonymous.
A small number of people develop gambling disorders, which can be difficult to recognize and treat. The disorder can affect anyone, and it is more common in men than women. In addition, some people have a genetic predisposition to thrill-seeking behaviour and impulsivity. This can make them more likely to engage in risky activities, and it can be harder for them to control their impulses and weigh risks. Other risk factors include stress, trauma and social inequality. The disorder can begin in adolescence, and it tends to run in families.