Gambling Disorders

Gambling is the wagering of something of value, usually money, on an event with a random outcome. This event could be anything from a football match to a scratchcard, and the likelihood of winning is determined by ‘odds’ set by the betting company.

For some people, gambling can cause serious problems. Problem gamblers often experience feelings of stress, regret and guilt – and they are also at greater risk of depression and anxiety. They may also be at risk of substance abuse and relationship difficulties. These problems can persist even after they have stopped gambling.

Many different types of gambling exist, from online gaming and betting on sports to playing casino games and poker. People who gamble for a living are called professional gamblers, and they can make significant amounts of money from their activity. They are at high risk of developing a gambling disorder, because they spend so much time and energy on the game.

The most important step in overcoming a gambling disorder is realising that you have one, and asking for help. It can be tough to admit this, especially if it has cost you money or damaged your relationships. But there are ways to get help, including family therapy and marriage, career or credit counselling. You can also ask for help from a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is based on peer support and follows a 12-step recovery program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous.

You can find a therapist who specialises in gambling addiction at BetterHelp, an online service that matches you with a licensed, accredited therapist. You can take a free assessment and be matched with a therapist within 48 hours.