Gambling Addiction

Gambling is a form of entertainment that involves risking money or something else of value in a game involving chance, such as scratchcards, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, or sports betting. Some people gamble responsibly and enjoy the experience, while others go overboard and end up incurring debts that can affect their lives.

Gambling also helps to stimulate economic growth, provides entertainment, and encourages socialization. It can also help to develop cognitive skills, such as learning how to play a game like poker or blackjack. In addition, gambling revenues can be used to support charitable and community groups. However, these benefits can be offset by the negative effects of problem gambling.

A growing number of people are becoming addicted to gambling. The habit can affect both physical and mental health, and can cause serious financial difficulties. Fortunately, there are ways to break the cycle of gambling addiction. One way is to seek treatment. Another is to strengthen family relationships and join a support group. Finally, try to find other ways to relieve boredom and self-soothe unpleasant feelings, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or trying new hobbies.

In 2013, pathological gambling was moved to a section on behavioral addictions in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This change reflects research that has found that it shares features with substance-related disorders, such as comorbidity, brain origin, and physiology. It is also associated with a range of psychological symptoms, including impaired impulse control and cognitive distortions.