Gambling involves taking a risk and betting something of value on a random event. It can be an occasional social experience or a regular obsession.
There is a large amount of money wagered legally each year. Estimates suggest that gambling may exceed $10 trillion worldwide. Most of the money is wagered on lotteries, which are the largest form of gambling. Other forms of gambling include casino games, slot machines, online gambling, horse races, bingo, and other forms of gambling.
Some people who have a gambling disorder are also affected by a number of other issues, such as high anxiety or depression, or a suicidal ideation. The gambling problem can affect work, relationships, and finances.
Many different organisations provide support for individuals and families who are coping with gambling problems. These services are free and confidential. In some cases, support groups offer peer support.
Symptoms of a gambling disorder can appear as early as adolescence, though they can also develop later in life. Gambling can be treated through several forms of therapy.
For more information about gambling and treatment, contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Consult with your doctor or health care provider if you think you are displaying signs of a gambling disorder.
If you are unsure if you have a gambling disorder, you can get help from a counsellor. They can provide an assessment and help you understand the disorder and how to cope.
Identifying a gambling problem can be difficult. However, you can reduce your chances of developing a problem by knowing why you are gambling and deciding whether to continue.