If you’re addicted to gambling, the first step toward recovery is to get help. There are many resources available, including gambling helplines and self-help groups. It can be tough to admit that you have a problem, but there are many others who have overcome their gambling problems. If you or a loved one is suffering from gambling addiction, seek professional help as soon as possible.
Gambling disorder is often a family problem. Other risk factors include social inequality and trauma. Symptoms can begin during childhood or in adulthood and can develop over time. Men are more likely than women to develop the problem. Treatment for gambling disorders may include therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. The American Psychiatric Association describes gambling as a mental disorder characterized by compulsive or pathological behavior. Pathological gambling, also known as problem gambling, can lead to significant negative consequences. It affects about 1.6 percent of adults in North America. The percentage of people with disordered gambling is much smaller, at less than 5 percent.
While gambling can be an escape from boredom and anxiety, it can also be a means to relieve stress. For some, gambling is a way to unwind and socialize with others. Other strategies include exercising, spending time with non-gambling friends, or practicing relaxation techniques.