Gambling Disorders


Gambling is risking something of value (money, property, or time) on an event that is determined at least in part by chance with the hope of winning a prize. It may involve skill, as with card games or a knowledge of horse racing and jockeys that improve chances for winning bets, but it usually involves chance. It can be social, as when friends play a card game for small stakes or participate in a friendly sports betting pool. It can also be professional, as when a person makes their living primarily through gambling.

Gambling can lead to problems when the gambler becomes preoccupied with the activity and ignores other important aspects of life, such as work, family, or health. People with gambling disorders often have other mood or substance use disorders, and those disorders can make it difficult to stop gambling. They may hide their problem from others and lie about their behavior, feeling that if they don’t tell anyone else, they won’t be believed. They may be secretive and even deceptive in their gambling habits, spending more money than they have and upping their bets in the hopes of recovering lost funds.

It takes tremendous strength and courage to admit that you have a problem with gambling, especially if your addiction has cost you money or strained relationships. But there is help available. BetterHelp’s online assessment will match you with a licensed therapist who can help you overcome your gambling disorder.

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