Day: March 20, 2024

Gambling As an Illness

Gambling is an activity in which a person risks something of value, such as money or property, in an attempt to win a prize. This may be as simple as betting on the outcome of a sports event, or it could involve a much higher stake, such as investing in stocks or bonds. Gambling can also be conducted with items that have a monetary value but do not represent actual money, such as marbles or collectible card game pieces. It is a common form of entertainment and can be found in many casinos, restaurants, pubs, and other social venues.

For some individuals, gambling provides an outlet for feelings of boredom, stress, anxiety, depression, grief, or fear of loss. Others find excitement and suspense in placing a bet or playing casino games. Gambling can be an entertaining and enjoyable hobby, but for some, it becomes a dangerous addiction that causes serious harm to their physical and mental health, relationships with family and friends, performance at work or school, and can lead to financial ruin.

Psychiatrists now recognise gambling disorder as an illness, and the condition has been included in DSM-5, the diagnostic manual for mental disorders. It is similar to substance-related disorders in terms of clinical expression, brain origin, comorbidity and treatment.

Some people can overcome gambling problems on their own, but for most, professional help is needed. Various types of therapy are used to treat this disorder, including cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy and group therapy. It is also helpful to address any underlying mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety, which can both trigger gambling problems and be made worse by them.

Many people who struggle with gambling are unaware that they have a problem. They may hide their gambling activities or lie to friends and family about how much they spend on it. They may also try to distract themselves from the urge by using other substances or focusing on their hobbies. Ultimately, the only way to overcome gambling addiction is to seek help.

It takes tremendous courage to admit that you have a problem, especially if the behavior has cost you significant amounts of money or has damaged your relationships with family and friends. It is important to have support from friends and family, but only a trained therapist can provide you with the tools you need to change your behaviors. BetterHelp is an online therapy service that matches you with a licensed, accredited therapist who can help you deal with gambling addiction and other issues. Take our assessment and get started in as little as 48 hours. Start your journey to recovery today.