Gambling Disorders

Gambling is risking something of value on an event that is largely determined by chance in the hope of realizing a profit. It has been a part of virtually every society since prerecorded times and has often been integrated into local customs and rites of passage. While most people who gamble do so responsibly, a small percentage develop problem gambling, which is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a pattern of excessive gambling that causes distress or impairment.

A variety of factors may contribute to the development of gambling problems. Genetics, environment and medical history can all increase an individual’s susceptibility to develop a gambling addiction. Age and socioeconomic status also play a role in gambling behavior. Children and teenagers are at greater risk for developing a gambling problem than adults. Additionally, individuals who start gambling at a young age are more likely to develop a gambling disorder later in life.

While it’s common to see gambling as a fun way to pass the time, it can quickly turn into an addictive activity that can lead to serious consequences. If you feel like you’re struggling with a gambling addiction, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

There are many ways to seek help, including inpatient treatment and rehabilitation programs. Often, in these types of facilities, you’ll work with a therapist who can teach you healthy coping strategies and help you overcome your gambling habits. You can also find support in a peer-support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous.