Gambling Addiction


Gambling involves risking something of value on an event that is based largely on chance, such as dice games or roulette. It also includes betting with friends on sporting events like football or horse races, and some types of speculative betting (stock market trading and sports handicapping). While many people gamble for fun, there are some who do it professionally for a living, such as traders on Wall Street and some sports handicappers.

Whether played at a casino or on the internet, gambling can be thrilling and exciting. It can also be an addictive activity for some people, leading to problems such as financial loss and even debt. For some, gambling can become a way to socialize with friends and family in an entertaining setting, and it is often promoted in the media as being sexy, glamorous and fashionable. For others, gambling can provide a sense of escape from or a way to cope with boredom, depression, anxiety, and other problems.

Fortunately, gambling addictions can be treated with counseling and other therapies. For instance, cognitive-behavioral therapy can teach people how to resist urges to gamble and replace irrational beliefs such as the idea that a series of losses is due to an imminent win. In addition, it can help someone understand their underlying mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder, that might be contributing to their gambling addiction. If a person is unable to control their gambling addiction, there are residential or inpatient treatment and recovery programs.