Gambling involves wagering something of value on a random event where instances of strategy are discounted. The goal of gambling is to win something of value by risking an amount that exceeds the cost of the wager. The concept of gambling has long been controversial due to its negative impact on the health and wellbeing of society.
Unlike other forms of addiction, problem gambling can be difficult to recognize and admit to. It is also often hidden from friends and family. This can lead to strained or broken relationships and financial hardship. Fortunately, there are a number of organisations that offer help and support to people who have a gambling problem.
The current understanding of pathological gambling (PG) has undergone a remarkable change, reflected and stimulated by research that has led to the inclusion of gambling disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5). This move is consistent with the change in our understanding of substance-related disorders and the recognition that they are similar in clinical expression, brain origin, comorbidity, and treatment.
The first step in overcoming a gambling addiction is realizing you have one. While this can be extremely painful and embarrassing, it’s important to remember that many other people have gotten through this struggle and rebuilt their lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, consider getting counseling. Counseling can help you think about how your gambling affects other areas of your life and develop strategies to overcome this addictive behavior.