Gambling Disorders

Gambling is an activity where you risk something of value (money, possessions or property) in the hope of winning more money or a prize. The most common form of gambling is betting on events with a fixed outcome, such as horse and greyhound races, football accumulators and political elections. It also includes games that involve collecting and combining items of value, such as marbles, pogs or Magic: The Gathering trading cards. It is a hugely popular pastime and is very closely regulated by both state and federal laws.

Many people who gamble do so for social, financial or entertainment reasons. Winning big can be very appealing and even change a person’s lifestyle for the better. Some people find that gambling relieves boredom and other emotional or psychological problems, such as depression or grief. In the media, gambling is often portrayed as exciting, glamorous and sexy. It can also provide an escape from daily life and the pressures of work, family and money.

However, it is important to realise that the odds of winning a game are always against you. It is unlikely that you will win every time you gamble and, over time, losses will outweigh wins. In the short term, this can cause a loss of self-esteem and can lead to debt and bankruptcy. In the long term, it can lead to health and relationship issues.

For some people, the act of gambling becomes compulsive and they are unable to control their behaviour. This can have devastating consequences for their health, finances and relationships. Gambling disorders are very common and affect both men and women. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, childhood trauma and social inequality.

Gambling is a complex issue. There are a number of things that can trigger it and it is important to recognise the signs. People who gamble compulsively often experience depression, anxiety and other mood disorders, which can be made worse by their gambling habit. They may also use gambling as a way to self-soothe unpleasant emotions, unwind or socialize, but there are healthier ways of doing so.

The most difficult step in overcoming gambling disorder is recognising that you have a problem and seeking help. There are a range of services available, from online support groups to residential treatment facilities.

Using the BetterHelp app, you can be matched with a therapist who can help with depression, anxiety and relationships – all of which are associated with gambling disorders. Get started by taking our free assessment. We can connect you with a therapist in as little as 48 hours. If you are a gambler, take the gamble out of your life with the help of a therapist. Click here to start your journey to recovery. We’ll send you a text or email when your session is ready to begin.