Whether you’re an avid gambler or simply a casual player, gambling is a risky activity. If you find yourself feeling the urge to gamble, you should postpone your activity and seek help from a professional or family member.
Gambling has been a widely accepted recreational activity in the United States for centuries. During the late 20th century, state-operated lotteries expanded rapidly in the United States. In addition to state lotteries, many countries have state-licensed wagering on sporting events.
The first step is to recognize that you have a gambling problem. Gambling can be fun and social, but it also has a negative impact on your life. Gambling can cause you to lose money, run up large debts, and ruin relationships. It can also lead to fraud.
A gambling disorder is a mental health condition that causes the gambler to be preoccupied with gambling. He or she may be using money to escape negative feelings or to get even. Gamblers may also exhibit cognitive biases.
Gambling disorders are grouped together with other addictive behaviors in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Gabbard’s Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders (5th edition) explains the criteria for diagnosing gambling disorder and provides guidance on how to treat it.
Addiction to gambling is a disorder that can affect people of all ages. It is most common among younger people, but it can also be a problem for older adults. The symptoms of a gambling disorder can begin as early as adolescence.