Gambling is a form of entertainment where people bet on events with an element of chance. It can take the form of buying a lottery ticket, playing a game of scratchcards or placing a bet on a football match.
When done in moderation, gambling can be a fun activity and a great way to relax. However, when a person has an addiction to gambling, it can be a huge problem for them and their family.
Addiction to Gambling – DSM-5
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) describes gambling as the “wagering of something of value on a random event with an intent to win something else of value.” It is also defined as the “volitional assumption of risk and negative expectable value” (American Psychiatric Association, 2010). In addition, it includes a “commitment to continue to gamble despite experiencing adverse consequences, or despite evidence that other life activities have been disrupted by the behavior”).
A gambling addiction can be very difficult to treat. Some people are more prone to the problem than others.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of a gambling addiction include:
Dissociation: For some, gambling can be an escape from stressful or painful emotions. Some games encourage this more than others, especially slot machines and poker.
Loss of control: Some problem gamblers have a hard time controlling their money and time, and may increase their bets when they are winning or decrease their bets when they are losing.