Gambling is the risk of losing money or something of value to win money or a prize. It can be played in many forms, including lottery tickets, casinos and Internet gambling.
The most common reason people gamble is to feel a rush of euphoria, which is linked to the brain’s reward system. Others use gambling as a way to socialize and relieve stress.
Compulsive gambling, also known as pathological gambling, is a disorder that causes significant problems for the person and those around him or her. It can lead to loss of relationships, jobs and other important aspects of life.
This disorder has four symptoms that are described in the DSM-5 diagnostic manual.
A gambling problem may affect anyone at any age and gender, but is more likely to be a problem in children or adolescents. A person can have a gambling problem for years without any adverse consequences, but it can become severe over time and cause damage to family relationships and finances.
The main symptoms of a gambling problem are the inability to control or stop the gambling, and repeated thoughts about gambling. The gambling behavior interferes with the person’s work, home and social obligations and can cause legal and financial problems.
It’s also a symptom of underlying mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety.
If you think you have a problem with gambling, talk to a professional and get help. Treatment programs can help you stop gambling and improve your quality of life. They can also help you deal with underlying mood disorders and provide support for your family.