Gambling Disorders

Gambling is the act of wagering something of value on a chance or random event. It is not uncommon to wager money on sporting events, but the most common forms of gambling are lotteries, horse races, and other types of public gambling. In some countries, organized football pools are available for people to play.

Although gambling can be a social activity, it can also be an addictive behavior. Gambling disorder is a serious mental illness that can affect young people as well as older adults. If you think you may be suffering from a gambling disorder, it’s important to seek help. Many organizations offer support and counseling services. However, only you can make the decision to stop gambling.

Pathological gambling is defined as a pattern of behaviors that interferes with or causes significant problems in a person’s life. Symptoms can appear as early as adolescence and can continue into adulthood. There are several risk factors that increase the chances of developing a gambling disorder. These include a family history of a problem, trauma, and social inequality.

Problem gambling is often associated with depression, anxiety, and other non-gambling health issues. The occurrence of pathological gambling is more prevalent among males. Men are more likely to start gambling at an earlier age than women. Also, men are more likely to use credit or savings to fund their gambling activities.

Several types of therapy are used to treat gambling disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy are two examples. Other treatment options include psychodynamic therapy and group therapy.

There is currently little research on the relationship between gambling behaviors and health. While there is a burgeoning international research literature suggesting that college-aged individuals are at increased risk for problems, there is less research on the relationship between specific populations and gambling.

As with other addictions, there are no FDA-approved medications that specifically treat gambling disorders. However, there are medications that can treat co-occurring conditions. Some of these medications include Xanax, Klonopin, and Klonopin SR.

One possible method of preventing the onset of gambling disorder is to monitor the behavior of youth. Various assessments have been developed for adolescents. This includes the Canadian Adolescent Gambling Inventory, which is designed to measure symptoms associated with pathological gambling. Items on this inventory include loss of control, chasing losses, and other behaviors associated with pathological gambling.

Although the prevalence of problem gambling among adolescents is very low, it is important to know that adolescents can still develop a gambling problem. Among Alberta students in 2005, two out of every 100 students had a gambling problem. Similarly, one out of every four high school students in the U.S. had a gambling problem.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling disorder, you can reach out to the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). You can also find a listing of organizations that provide counseling and support for gambling.

Most states have a gambling helpline, but you may need to make an appointment to receive assistance. Additionally, there are various support groups that are available for affected individuals and their families.