Gambling is the act of placing a bet on a random event with the hope of winning something of value. It can be a good way to relieve boredom or relieve unpleasant emotions, but it can also cause harm and addiction.
You should only gamble with what you can afford to lose. Set money and time limits, and stop gambling when you reach them.
If you gamble too much or use it to make money, you should ask yourself if this is causing problems for you or your family. If so, you should get help to stop or cut back your gambling.
Your age, gender, and if you have a mental health problem may also affect your gambling behaviour. Compulsive gambling is more common in younger people but is also a problem in older adults.
Having a gambling problem can be hard to spot, so you should tell your friends and family if you are worried. You can also ask for advice from a counsellor.
A person who has a gambling problem will often find it difficult to stop. They will usually feel guilty and anxious about it, which can keep them playing.
They may be tempted to lie about their gambling, or try to hide it from others. They may also be tempted to steal from friends or family members to pay for their gambling.
The diagnosis of a gambling disorder is now easier to make, thanks to the development of criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association.