Whether it’s buying a Lotto ticket or betting on sports events, most people gamble at some time in their lives. But for some, it can become a serious problem. If you find yourself gambling more than you can afford, borrowing money or putting your family or other important activities at risk to gamble, it may be a sign of an addiction.
A major step in overcoming a gambling problem is realizing you have a problem and seeking help. But this can be difficult, especially if you have lost money and strained or broken relationships as a result of your gambling.
Gambling is the wagering of something of value on a random event with the intent of winning something else of value, where instances of strategy are discounted. It is important to note that the act of gambling can occur in many different forms and is not limited to casino gaming, but also includes lottery games, horse racing, poker, blackjack, and other card games, as well as online and electronic betting on sports events and other activities.
While the exact cause of pathological gambling (PG) is unknown, genetics and environmental factors are likely involved. PG often runs in families, and studies of identical twins suggest that genetics play more of a role than do environmental influences. Similarly, a history of psychiatric disorders is associated with a greater likelihood of developing a gambling disorder. In addition, a number of psychotherapy approaches, such as cognitive-behavior therapy, have been shown to be effective in treating PG.