Gambling is an activity in which people place a value on something that has a chance of happening, such as a scratchcard or game of chance. It also includes activities involving wagering money or something else of value, such as horse race betting and sports betting. Gambling can have benefits if it is done in moderation, including socializing with friends and mental developments, such as learning how to play a game that requires complex strategy.
Gambling can have negative effects when it is abused or used as a substitute for more productive and healthy activities, such as exercise, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques. In addition, gambling can lead to financial problems, such as credit card debt and bankruptcy. It can even cause physical or emotional problems, such as depression or anxiety. If you or a family member suffers from these problems, treatment is available.
The DSM-5 now includes a category of behavioral addictions, which includes gambling disorder. The new category reflects research findings that the condition is similar to substance abuse disorders in terms of clinical expression, brain origin, comorbidity, and physiology.
There are several types of psychotherapy that can help you recover from gambling addiction, including individual therapy and group therapy. Individual therapy can be helpful for you to identify the sources of your problem and learn better coping mechanisms, such as learning to manage your emotions or seeking support from loved ones. Group therapy can help you find a supportive community that can offer encouragement and accountability.