Gambling Addiction


Gambling involves wagering something of value, such as money, property or possessions, on an event with a random element. It is often considered an enjoyable pastime and social activity, albeit one that can lead to problems when it becomes compulsive.

Problem gambling can affect any age and gender, although it is more common in men than women. It is also more likely to occur in childhood or the teenage years. A family history of problem gambling is also a factor. It is less common among older adults, but there are still instances of this type of gambling disorder.

Those who have a gambling addiction can benefit from seeking out professional help, either in the form of psychotherapy or medications. It is also important to seek support from loved ones and friends, attend a self-help group for families such as Gam-Anon, and try to find healthy ways to relieve boredom and stress, such as exercise, spending time with non-gambling friends, practicing relaxation techniques, or exploring new hobbies.

People who gamble often do it as a way to escape from the realities of life, and while it can provide some temporary relief, it also contributes to increased stress in the long run. Gambling is also a source of excitement and can generate feelings of euphoria when winning. People who have a gambling addiction may feel the urge to gamble to experience these sensations. The brain releases dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter, when gambling, which can reinforce the desire to keep gambling.