Gambling is an act of wagering something of value on an event determined in part by chance. It is usually money, but can include other possessions.
Gambling can be a form of entertainment, but it can also be an addictive behavior. It is important to understand why you gamble and how much risk you are taking.
Pathological gambling is a disorder that can develop in both adults and adolescents. Although adolescents can be affected by gambling, it is much more common in middle and younger adults.
The earliest symptoms of a gambling disorder can occur in adolescence. A person with a gambling problem might spend a lot of time gambling, miss school or work, hide their gambling behavior from family and friends, and may use debt, savings or credit cards to finance their gambling.
Problem gambling is often associated with anxiety and depression. If you think you might be suffering from a gambling disorder, contact a support group or doctor. Behavioral therapy, including group, cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, and family therapy, can help you overcome the disorder.
There are many different types of therapies used to treat gambling disorders. Some medications are prescribed for co-occurring conditions, such as depression or anxiety.
In general, the more people gamble, the higher the chances of developing a gambling disorder. You can prevent or manage your gambling by understanding the risks. For example, bets can cost you a lot of money if you lose. Be sure to budget your gambling as an expense, instead of a way to make money.