Gambling Disorders

Gambling is a game where you put money or something of value on the outcome of an event that involves chance. This could be buying a scratchcard or placing a bet with friends on a football match. If you win, you get back the money you put on.

It can be fun and exciting to gamble, but it can also be a problem. It is important to be aware of the risks involved so you can make informed choices and keep your money safe.

If you or someone you know is having a hard time with gambling, you should consider getting help. Several types of therapy can be helpful, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, family therapy and group counseling.

A new understanding of how the brain works is helping psychiatrists identify people who have a problem with gambling. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) added pathological gambling to the list of addictions in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Some people who gamble for pleasure can stop on their own, while others need help. Inpatient or residential treatment and rehab programs are often a good option for those with serious gambling problems who cannot quit on their own.

Support from friends and family is vital for those who are struggling with a gambling disorder. If you have a spouse, friend or loved one who is having a hard time with gambling, be supportive and encourage them to seek help.