What is Gambling Addiction?


Gambling involves risking something of value (money or assets) on an event with an uncertain outcome in order to win something else of equal or greater value, such as dice rolling or roulette wheel spin. Events requiring gambling include rolling dice or spinning roulette wheels at random events with immediate outcomes such as race horses crossing finish lines. Bets can also be placed on future events like lotteries jackpots and American football team matches. Aside from offering potential prizes, gambling provides an outlet from boredom or stress by diverting attention away from current matters – however when problem gambling becomes compulsive it can have disastrous repercussions within relationships, careers and finances alike causing lasting financial problems as well.

People struggling with gambling addiction may find it difficult to recognize that they have an issue. Instead, they may attempt to hide their behavior and resort to theft or fraud to support their habit – which can have disastrous effects on both health and well-being – leading to depression, substance abuse, debt or even suicide.

Chances of gambling addiction increase depending on a range of factors such as genetics, environment, age and medical history as well as sexual orientation. Children and teenagers are especially prone to gambling issues while men are more prone than women. Gambling behavior becomes problematic among those who have close relatives with gambling disorders or substance use disorders.

Gambling may be exciting and enjoyable, but it should always be understood as an unpredictable way to earn money. Unfortunately, many who gamble end up losing more than they can afford – with many having lost jobs, homes and children due to gambling addiction; others even finding themselves behind bars as a result of their betting activities.

Mental health professionals have recognized Gambling Disorder as an addiction category within DSM-5. This new category recognizes research which indicates similarity in its symptoms, clinical expression, brain origin and treatment strategies for substance-related disorders and gambling-related problems like excessive drinking or credit card debt.

An individual struggling with gambling disorders will sometimes go through periods in which their symptoms do not show or are mild, making it important for them to reach out for help and seek support from others who can assist and find support. This might involve joining Gamblers Anonymous or seeking therapy through BetterHelp; therapy has proven an invaluable aid for breaking an addiction to gambling – providing safe spaces to discuss problems, learn coping mechanisms, manage cravings and rebuild relationships – however the first step to recovery lies in recognising there is an issue and taking immediate steps necessary.