Gambling Disorders

Gambling is the act of placing a bet on an event or game with a conscious risk of loss and hope of gain. It can be a harmless form of entertainment, or it can become an addiction that leads to financial and personal problems. Gambling can take place in casinos, sports betting, and online.

Some forms of gambling involve skill and knowledge, while others are purely random or chance-based. Stock markets, for example, are a form of gambling in which the participants bet on future events and earn or lose money depending on how well they predict the outcome of those events. Purchasing life insurance is another form of gambling in which bettors place a wager on their own survival within a specified time frame.

Although some people gamble responsibly, many others develop a gambling disorder. About 2-4 million adults in the United States would meet diagnostic criteria for problem gambling disorder in a given year. These individuals may experience mild to severe problems, including physical and emotional distress and difficulty coping with stressors in their lives.

If you know someone with a gambling disorder, offer them help. Encourage them to seek treatment, and help them set boundaries in managing their money. Consider taking over their credit cards, putting them in charge of their finances, or closing their online betting accounts. Help them find other ways to relieve boredom and unpleasant feelings, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques.

Posted in: Gambling