Gambling is a worldwide activity where people wager money or other items of value on events that involve chance. There are several types of gambling, including lotteries, casino games, online betting and sports betting. Some of these activities can be addictive. People with a gambling disorder may develop problems that interfere with work, family or other life activities. They may also experience other symptoms such as depression and anxiety. The disorder is known as pathological gambling (PG) or compulsive gambling. It can affect anyone. However, the condition tends to occur in men and younger people. PG usually starts in adolescence or early adulthood and can last for several years.
People with a gambling disorder may try to hide their problem or avoid talking about it. They may also lie about their spending or hiding evidence of their gambling. They might also seek out other ways to cope with boredom or stress, such as drug abuse. It is important for loved ones to provide support and encouragement.
If you are dealing with a loved one who has a gambling problem, it is important to seek help. Talking with a therapist can help you understand the problem and consider options to overcome it. In addition, there are many self-help groups for families such as Gam-Anon. Counseling can also help you learn to recognize and respond to triggers that cause the urge to gamble. These can include being around other gamblers, using credit cards or having a limited amount of cash on you.