Gambling and Mood Disorders

About Gambling

Putting a wager on the outcome of a game of chance is considered gambling. Whether it’s rolling a dice, spinning a wheel, or betting on the next horse race, gambling involves risking something of value (money or material goods) on an uncertain event with a chance of winning a prize. While many people can walk away from a quick game of poker or placing a few coins in a slot machine, there are others who cannot. These are the individuals who become addicted to gambling.

The act of gambling can be linked to a variety of mood disorders, including depression, stress, and anxiety. These disorders can trigger or be made worse by compulsive gambling, and they can also interfere with a person’s ability to function in their daily lives. For this reason, addressing mood disorders is critical to treating gambling problems.

Gambling can provide entertainment for some people, as well as stimulate local economies in areas that are geographically positioned to draw tourism dollars through the activity. Moreover, the presence of casinos can reduce crime in these communities. This is because gamblers often comprise societal idlers who would otherwise engage in criminal activities like assaults, burglary, robbery, and drug abuse. However, these benefits must be weighed against the negative effects of gambling on health, relationships, work and study performance, and finances. Gambling can be an addictive behavior that causes financial difficulties, family problems, and even homelessness. If you or a loved one has issues with gambling, it’s important to seek professional help. You can try individual, marriage, career, or credit counseling, or join a peer support group such as Gamblers Anonymous.