Dealing with a gambling addiction can be overwhelming and can leave you feeling ashamed. Getting help for gambling addiction is a good way to support your loved one and learn that you are not alone in this struggle. You can enroll in education classes to learn about addiction, volunteer to help a charity, or join peer support groups. You can also join Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. If you find that you can’t get help on your own, you can find a sponsor, a fellow gambler who can guide you through the recovery process.
The American Psychiatric Association published the DSM-5 in 2014. This classification identifies gambling as a behavioral addiction. The condition is closely related to other substance-related disorders, including alcohol and drug addiction. Gambling disorder has similarities to these disorders in its physiology and clinical expression. However, it differs from these disorders in terms of its potential to cause financial and emotional distress. It can also lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts.
In the United States, the total amount of money wagered annually is estimated at $10 trillion, but it is likely to be much higher than that. Many jurisdictions ban gambling entirely or heavily regulate the industry. These efforts have resulted in a close relationship between governments and gaming organizations. Insurers set premiums based on actuarial tables, which are similar to the methods used by professional gamblers. Despite the fact that gambling is a highly profitable activity, it’s still necessary to understand the risks associated with it.