Gambling involves wagering something of value (such as money or possessions) on an event that is based in part on random chance or skill. It is a common pastime and can be a source of entertainment and social interaction. Some people find it difficult to control their gambling, leading to serious financial and family problems.

Gamblers may be able to relieve unpleasant feelings by using the activity as an outlet for anxiety, sadness, anger or guilt. However, if these unpleasant feelings are not addressed in a healthy way, they can continue to lead to gambling behavior. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available for people who are struggling with gambling disorders. These include individual and group counseling, behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and family and marital therapy.

Some people who have a gambling problem can recover on their own without help. However, most people who have gambling disorders need help to stop the behavior. Counseling can teach people healthier ways to deal with their emotions and can help them identify the root cause of their addiction. It can also encourage people to develop a support network and learn healthier coping skills.

In addition to counseling, some people who struggle with gambling disorder may benefit from participating in a peer support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which follows the 12-step model of Alcoholics Anonymous. These groups can provide a sense of belonging and can motivate people to take action to overcome their gambling addiction.

If you have a gambling problem, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. You can get a referral from your primary care doctor or a mental health professional. You can also find help through online therapists such as BetterHelp, which matches you with licensed, accredited therapists in your area. Once you’ve found a therapist, they can help you set goals and work on strategies for overcoming your gambling problems. In addition, they can teach you coping skills to address other issues in your life, such as depression, anxiety, or relationship difficulties. You can also seek help from a community-based organization that provides support and education to gambling addicts, such as Gam-Anon or the National Council on Problem Gambling. In some cases, people with gambling disorders may be able to receive inpatient or residential treatment programs. These programs are designed to treat severe addictions and can provide round-the-clock support and rehabilitation services.