Gambling is a recreational activity in which people place wagers on the outcome of an event. The game can take many forms, from the betting of marbles or pogs (respectively small discs and trading cards) to games of poker and Magic: The Gathering. Gambling is often organized and conducted by commercial establishments.
It takes tremendous strength and courage to realize you have a gambling problem, especially when it has cost you money and strained or broken relationships. However, you do not have to go it alone. Seek help from family and friends, and consider counseling. Therapy can help you understand your gambling problems, think through options, and solve problems.
The first step in overcoming a gambling addiction is to stop gambling. You can do this by avoiding gambling-related activities and by strengthening your support network. In addition to spending time with loved ones who do not gamble, you may want to consider joining a peer support group such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is based on the 12-step model of Alcoholics Anonymous. A sponsor, a former gambling addict with experience remaining free from the addiction, can provide invaluable guidance and support.
In addition to limiting your gambling activity, it is important to set money and time limits in advance and stick to them. Avoid gambling on credit and do not borrow to gamble. Also, balance your time with other activities such as work, socializing, and hobbies that do not involve gambling. Finally, avoid chasing losses — the more you try to win back lost money, the bigger your losses are likely to be.