Whether it’s betting on the winning team, spinning the slots or buying a scratchcard, gambling involves risking something of value to try and win. It’s a form of entertainment that can be fun, but it’s also a serious addiction that causes many problems and can affect people in different ways.
Gambling is a popular pastime that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. However, some people develop a gambling disorder, which is described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as “a persistent urge to gamble despite negative consequences.” This type of gambling behavior can have many harmful effects on an individual’s health, including feelings of guilt or anxiety, depression, or even suicidal thoughts.
Many people who have a problem with gambling can successfully overcome it, especially if they seek help. There are a number of resources available, such as treatment programs and support groups. Inpatient and residential treatments are also available for those who struggle with severe gambling addiction. If you’re concerned about someone, speak with them about their addiction and consider taking steps to help. For example, suggest they call a helpline, talk to their healthcare provider or therapist, or go to Gamblers Anonymous.
Helping someone with a gambling addiction can be challenging, particularly if they’ve lost money or damaged relationships. It can take a lot of strength and courage to admit you have a gambling problem, but it’s the first step towards recovery.