Gambling is an activity in which a person risks something of value, usually money, on an event or outcome that is based on chance or luck rather than skill. It can take the form of casino games, sports betting, lottery games, card games, and other forms of entertainment. Gambling can have both positive and negative effects on people. Positive effects can include socialization, mental development, and relaxation. Negative effects include addiction, financial problems, and harm to families and the community.
The most studied impacts of gambling are those related to its financial impact. These impacts can be seen at the individual, interpersonal, and community/society levels. Financial impacts can include changes in finances, such as increased debt, decreased savings and investments, and increased bankruptcies. Impacts at the interpersonal and community/society level are often less understood and more difficult to measure. These impacts can be both monetary and non-monetary, but they may also have long-term consequences that change the course of a person’s life or pass between generations.
There are several types of psychotherapy that can help a person control their gambling disorder. One type, psychodynamic therapy, helps a person understand unconscious processes that influence their behavior. Another, group therapy, allows a person to discuss their problem with others in a supportive environment. These therapies can be especially helpful if the person has underlying mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety, which are often triggered by or made worse by compulsive gambling.