A person’s relationship with gambling is influenced by a variety of factors. The negative consequences of gambling can be social, emotional, and physical. The DSM-5, published by American Psychiatric Publishing, classifies gambling addiction as a behavioral addiction. Problem gamblers experience physical, emotional, and psychological health consequences related to their addiction. Those affected by gambling problems may experience nausea, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, and more. In severe cases, problem gamblers may even try to commit suicide.
To overcome gambling addiction, you should strengthen your support system. First, reach out to family and friends for support. If possible, make new friends outside of gambling. Volunteer for a worthy cause and attend education classes. Join a peer support group to learn from other people who are also struggling with gambling addiction. If you’ve already begun to engage in problematic gambling, you may want to consider joining Gamblers Anonymous. The 12-step program is patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. Those with gambling addictions are encouraged to select a sponsor – a fellow gambler who can help guide you.
Gambling has roots dating back to the Paleolithic period, when people had little or no written history. The oldest known dice date to 3000 BC, from Mesopotamia. The oldest known games of chance have been played there for centuries. In the 14th century, gambling activities were recorded in Japan. Today, there are many forms of gambling. While there are many dangers associated with gambling, it can be a fun, lucrative, and rewarding pastime.