Symptoms of Gambling Disorder


Gambling is an activity where people bet something of value on a random event in the hope of winning something else of value. This can be anything from money to goods, and is often associated with sports events or casino games. Regardless of the type of gambling, it can be harmful to people who have a problem with it. Problematic gambling can cause serious harm to a person’s health, relationships and career, and even lead to homelessness. In fact, problem gamblers are more likely to commit suicide than people who do not have a gambling disorder.

Symptoms of Gambling Disorder

The symptoms of gambling disorder vary depending on the individual, but may include an intense urge to bet or risk more and more in a desperate attempt to win back lost money. Other symptoms may be difficulty concentrating, mood swings, trouble sleeping and secretive behavior. People with this disorder are also more prone to suicidal thoughts and feelings, especially when they are depressed. They are also more likely to gamble as a way of escape from boredom or stress.

While most people enjoy gambling as entertainment, it can become dangerous when it becomes a habit. Problematic gambling changes the reward pathway in the brain, making it difficult to stop. It can also cause other problems, such as depression, strained relationships and financial problems. In addition, it can interfere with work or school performance.

There are a number of different ways to get help for problem gambling, including self-help groups like Gamblers Anonymous and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Other treatments include family therapy and marriage counseling, and there are a number of online services that can connect you with a therapist, such as BetterHelp.

Some people are more susceptible to gambling addiction than others, and it can be difficult to recognize that you have a problem. This is particularly true if you have a culture that promotes gambling as a normal pastime, which can make it hard to see the harm. In addition, some families struggle with problem gambling, affecting everyone in the household.

The first step in treating gambling disorders is admitting that you have a problem. It can be tough to do, especially if you have lost a lot of money and strained your relationships. However, it is crucial to break free of the habit and get help before it causes more damage. You can start by calling a support line or attending a meeting for people with gambling addictions, such as Gam-Anon. You can also seek professional help, such as CBT or psychodynamic therapy. In addition, many communities have support groups for people with gambling problems.