Gambling Addiction

Gambling is a type of entertainment where people wager money or something else of value on an event with the hope of winning. It involves three elements: consideration, risk, and a prize. There are a number of reasons that people gamble, which include social, financial and recreational. While these reasons may seem harmless, they can cause problems in the long run if they become addictive. Moreover, they can impact family, friends and work. For example, gambling can lead to family breakups, debt and even suicide.

Many people don’t realise that their gambling is harmful to others, especially family and friends. They might be oblivious to the fact that they’re hiding their betting or lying about it. They might also be oblivious to the fact that their gambling is harming their health and well-being.

The risks of gambling can be minimised by setting boundaries and not using credit cards or checking accounts when playing online. In addition, it’s important to start with a fixed amount of money you’re willing to lose. Lastly, you should never bet with money you can’t afford to lose.

Psychiatrists used to view pathological gambling as an impulse control disorder, but in a move that has been described as a landmark, the American Psychiatric Association has moved it to the addiction chapter of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). It’s not yet clear whether this will change how psychiatry deals with the problem, but it does reflect a growing understanding of the biology behind gambling addiction.

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