Gambling is the act of putting your money or something else of value on the chance of winning. It can include betting on a football match, playing scratchcards, or taking part in online gambling sites.

Some people gamble for the thrill of it and others for financial gain. Either way, it can lead to problems if not treated correctly. The most common problem is that of gambling addiction.

Mental health professionals have developed criteria for diagnosing gambling disorder, which is listed in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). It’s important to know whether you or someone you love has a gambling problem, as it can be difficult to spot when it occurs.

Cognitive behavioural therapy can help you change how you think about gambling. It can also help you learn new ways to control your impulses and get back on track if you have lost money or relationships because of gambling.

You can also talk to your doctor about any changes you see in your body after gambling, especially if you feel that you can’t stop. They may be able to prescribe medication that can help you manage your emotions or change the way you think about gambling.

There are many reasons why someone might gamble, and it’s important to understand them so that you can support them through the treatment process. Some people gamble to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as loneliness or boredom. If this is the case, it’s important to find healthier ways to relieve these feelings, such as exercising, talking to friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques.

The person might also have a gambling problem if they lose money and find themselves spending more and more time and effort on it, or if they have a habit of making bets that they can’t afford to lose. They might also have a fear of losing their money or getting a bad debt bill.

Adolescents are at a high risk for developing gambling problems. They tend to start gambling earlier than adults, and they often have more impulsivity. They might have parents who have gambling problems, or they might get addicted to peer group gambling.

They might also have a problem with their social skills and are less likely to be successful in school, and they might have medical or psychiatric problems.

Some adolescents also have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, which can add to the problem. A gambling problem can be hard to treat, but it is possible.

Family members and other close friends of a person who has a gambling problem should talk to their partner or child about it. This can help them to understand the problem, and it might give them confidence that they can be there for their loved one when they need it most.

You might find it helpful to set boundaries with your loved one when it comes to managing their finances. For example, you could tell them to put their credit cards and cheques in a safe place, or you might have the bank make automatic payments for them. They might also have to keep only a limited amount of cash on them at all times, and not take it with them when they go out.