Gambling Problems


Gambling is the wagering of something of value on a random event with the intent of winning something else of value, where instances of strategy are discounted. It is an activity with many different forms and is a common form of entertainment. However, gambling can also be harmful for some people. Problem gambling can affect your health, relationships and work performance, leave you in debt and even lead to suicide. If you have a gambling problem, you can get help and support.

This article explores the range of gambling behavior, from behaviors that put individuals at risk for developing more serious problems (subclinical) to those that meet Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-fourth edition diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling (PG). Behavioral treatments for PG have shown varying levels of effectiveness. This may be because the underlying assumptions about the etiology of pathological gambling and treatment procedure differ across approaches. Longitudinal studies are needed to better understand the onset and development of PG and to identify specific conditions that foster its maintenance.

To reduce the temptation to gamble, it is a good idea to only ever gamble with disposable income and never with money you need for bills or rent. It can also be helpful to try to find healthier ways to relieve unpleasant feelings such as boredom, loneliness, stress, or anger. These might include exercising, spending time with friends who do not gamble, taking up new hobbies, or practicing relaxation techniques.