Gambling and Disordered Mood Disorders


Gambling is the betting of something of value, with consciousness of risk and hope of gain, on an uncertain event whose outcome may be determined by chance. It is a common activity, occurring in many forms such as lottery games, casino gambling, sports betting, and online gambling. It can be a fun pastime, or for some it can become an addiction that leads to serious problems.

There is a wide spectrum of gambling behavior, from normal to pathological. It is important to know that there are effective treatments for disordered gambling. This chapter outlines a range of treatment options, including pharmacotherapies, cognitive-behavioral therapies, and 12-step programs. The chapter also discusses how to address underlying mood disorders that often co-occur with gambling disorder, such as depression and anxiety.

In the past, many people used gambling to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as boredom, loneliness, or stress. However, it is important to find healthier and more effective ways to cope with these emotions. This may include exercising, spending time with friends who do not gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques. Additionally, it is important to set limits on how much money and time you will spend gambling. You can help prevent over-gambling by getting rid of credit cards, putting someone else in charge of your finances, or closing your online betting accounts. You should also avoid chasing your losses, as this will usually result in even bigger losses. It is also helpful to seek support from family therapy and marriage, career, and credit counseling.