Recognising the Signs of a Gambling Disorder

Gambling is the risking of something of value (money or assets) on an event involving chance, where the outcome is determined by a random factor. It includes betting on a sports event, or the buying of scratchcards and other games where the odds are not clearly displayed. Gambling also includes activities that involve the use of collectible items as stakes – such as playing a game of marbles, or a trading card sbobet login game like Magic: The Gathering. The rules of gambling vary by jurisdiction. In some cases, a person may be deemed to have a gambling disorder if they are spending more time and money on gambling than on any other activity.

When a gambler bets or risks something on an event with a potential return, they receive a surge of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with excitement and reward. This is why people feel a strong urge to continue gambling even when they are losing – the brain still produces this chemical response. Over time, this leads to a cycle of increasing gambling activity in order to achieve the same feeling.

This is known as compulsive or addictive gambling. This can lead to serious financial and emotional problems, including loss of income and family relationships. It is important to recognise the signs of a gambling problem and seek help.

Some people find it hard to admit that they have a gambling problem, especially if they have lost a lot of money or if their addiction has caused other issues such as depression, stress and relationship difficulties. It is also common for people to blame their gambling on external factors, such as financial problems or a difficult childhood, rather than taking responsibility for their actions.

While the exact cause of gambling disorder is not known, it tends to run in families and research shows that some people are genetically predisposed to thrill-seeking behaviour and impulsivity. Adverse childhood experiences and trauma, such as abuse and neglect, can also increase the risk of developing a gambling disorder.

It is possible to overcome a gambling disorder with the help of therapy. Many treatment options are available, from cognitive behavioural therapy to psychodynamic therapy and group therapy. Individuals with gambling disorders can also benefit from receiving treatment for underlying mood disorders, such as anxiety or depression.

If you have a friend or loved one who is suffering from a gambling disorder, be patient with them. It can be a very tough habit to break, and they will need your support to recover. It is also important to be aware of the effective treatments available, so you can help them find the right type of therapy for them. You could also consider seeking psychotherapy for yourself, to learn more about the reasons behind your loved ones’ gambling habits and how to better support them in recovery. You can get matched with a therapist on the world’s largest therapy service, 100% online. Get started today and be matched with a professional, licensed, vetted therapist in as little as 48 hours.