Gambling Disorders


Gambling is an activity in which a person wagers something of value on an event with the intention of winning a prize, which can range from a small amount of money to life-changing sums. There are many different types of gambling, including the lottery, horse racing, slot machines, and casino games. While no single form of gambling is inherently more addictive than another, research shows that some people are more susceptible to developing a problem than others.

In general, most adults and adolescents have gambled at some point. A substantial subset of these gamblers develop a gambling disorder, which is characterized by a recurrent pattern of problematic gambling behavior that causes significant distress or impairment. People with this condition may experience severe financial problems and other forms of distress, such as family difficulties, legal trouble, or depression.

Several factors contribute to the development of a gambling problem, including social, psychological, and economic factors. People in lower socioeconomic status tend to be more vulnerable than those in higher income groups. Young people, especially boys and men, are also at greater risk for gambling disorders than women. Vulnerability increases with the frequency of gambling and the amount of money lost.

Trying to quit gambling can be difficult, but it is possible to successfully kick the habit. It is important to have a plan for quitting and to stick with it. If you are struggling to give up gambling, seek professional help.