Gambling Disorders

Whether it’s playing bingo, slot machines or putting money on a horse race, gambling involves risking something of value (money or material items) to predict the outcome of an event that relies on chance. Gambling is a type of recreation, but some people develop a problem with it. The issue can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or income. It can cause family problems, harm a person’s performance at work or school, and lead to debt or even homelessness.

Some people gamble for fun and enjoy the adrenaline rush when luck strikes. They may also find that gambling is a way to socialize with friends and other people who share their interest in the activity. Certain forms of gambling, such as poker and sports betting, require a degree of skill and strategy. Some people use these activities as a way to relieve stress and depression, or to take their minds off other troubles in their lives.

Other people develop an addiction to gambling because of the excitement and dream of winning big. They might even lie about their gambling or hide evidence of their behavior from family and friends. Some people try to overcome a gambling disorder by seeking help, such as counseling or attending a self-help support group for families like Gam-Anon. Others turn to inpatient or residential treatment programs for severe cases of gambling disorder. Medications are sometimes used to treat co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety.

Posted in: Gambling