Gambling Addiction


Gambling is a popular pastime that can have both negative and positive impacts on people. Its negative effects include financial, labor, and health. Its positive effects include economic activities and social/community growth.

Some people gamble to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as boredom or stress. However, it is important to find healthier ways to relieve these feelings.


Gambling is wagering money or valuables on an activity with a random or uncertain outcome in the hope of winning more than was staked. It can take many forms, including games of chance, betting events such as horse or greyhound races or football accumulators, and lottery games. Historically, gambling has also involved activities requiring skill.

Adolescents may experiment with gambling as a form of recreation, such as playing poker for money with friends or dropping a few dollars into a slot machine or video lottery terminal. Some adolescents become regular gamblers, and this can lead to problems.

The term disordered gambling is used to describe a range of gambling behaviours from those that place individuals at risk of more serious problems (subclinical) to those behaviours that meet Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, diagnosable criteria for pathological gambling. No agreed upon nomenclature for gambling-related disorders exists, and different researchers, psychiatrists, other treatment care clinicians and public policy makers frame the issue differently.


Gambling is an activity where people risk money or things of value to win something that has a chance of being more valuable than what they risked. It is an age-old activity that seems to go hand in hand with humanity itself and it appears as if wagering is a natural human instinct.

It has been a part of all cultures throughout history and there is evidence that it was even practiced by prehistoric man. The earliest gambling can be traced to ancient rituals of casting lots (cleromancy) involving items like stones, sticks, arrows, or animal bones (in particular, the knucklebones of sheep).

In the seventeenth and eighteenth century a change in State and Church views on gambling occurred. This change resulted from the fact that gambling was no longer banned in itself, but rather because of the unhappy circumstances that it usually led to such as anger, blasphemy, or despair. This allowed for sensible, moderate gambling to be viewed as licit and thus brought back into favor.


Gambling addiction may cause serious problems for the person’s mental, emotional, and physical health. It can also have negative effects on their relationships and work performance.

People who have a gambling addiction will usually lie to others and try to hide their activity from friends and family. They will spend a lot of time thinking about gambling and will often have an urge to gamble when they are feeling upset or anxious. They will also rely on others to give them money for gambling or to bail them out of financial trouble caused by their gambling.

If someone is showing signs of a gambling addiction you should try to talk to them about it. However, it is important to do this in a safe environment and be non-judgemental. It is also worth trying to help them find other ways of relieving unpleasant feelings and coping with boredom, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, and practicing relaxation techniques.


The first step in treating gambling addiction is acknowledging that it is a problem. This can be difficult, especially if it has led to financial problems or strained relationships. However, there are a number of treatment options that can help.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be helpful in changing harmful gambling behaviors and thoughts. It also teaches coping strategies that can be used when the urge to gamble arises. Behavioral counseling has also been used in treatment programs, and studies have shown that it improves motivation for change.

Residential rehabilitation programmes, day treatment sessions or one-on-one counselling can all provide a safe space to open up about your struggles with gambling. A daily journal can be an effective tool for identifying triggers and understanding the emotions that drive gambling behaviour, such as boredom or stress. You can then begin to develop coping mechanisms for dealing with these triggers in future. These can include activities such as exercise, spending time with family or friends and avoiding high-risk situations like alcohol or gambling venues.