Problem Gambling

Gambling Mar 13, 2024

Gambling involves risking money or other materials that have value in a game of chance with the hope of winning. People may gamble for fun, or for real money, including paper and electronic money, chips or coins used in games of chance, or collectibles like marbles, pogs, and Magic: The Gathering cards.

A person can have a problem with gambling when they are consistently spending more than they can afford to lose. They may also have other symptoms of addiction, such as a desire to keep gambling even when it causes problems in their personal or professional lives. Problem gambling is classified by mental health professionals using criteria set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

People who have a problem with gambling are at greater risk for developing secondary addictions to drugs or alcohol, or for having depression or other emotional disorders. This is because they often use gambling to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as boredom, stress, or anxiety. Some research has shown that people who have a problem with gambling can benefit from therapy and support from family, friends, and groups such as Gamblers Anonymous.

Some steps that can help to control a gambling addiction are setting a budget and sticking to it, not using credit, and only gambling with disposable income (not funds that need to be saved or used to pay for food and bills). Also, it is important to avoid chasing losses, which means trying to win back money already lost. This can lead to even larger losses.