Gambling Disorder – What is Gambling and How Can it Be Treated?


Gambling involves risk-taking and a chance of winning money or other prizes. It can help people feel excited, socialise with friends and escape from boredom or stress. However, it is not always safe and can lead to a range of mental health problems.

When gambling becomes problematic it’s no longer about entertainment, profit or escape – it’s a way to avoid dealing with stressful life events and can make the problems worse. Gambling addiction can also cause physical harm if people spend too much time on it and don’t get enough sleep or exercise, which can lead to weight gain and other health issues.

There are many types of gambling, but the most common is betting on sports, lottery and casino games. It’s important to understand that no one form of gambling is more addictive than another. However, all forms of gambling can be harmful if they’re done to excess or cause financial problems.

Whenever you win or lose at a game of chance your brain is rewarded with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy and excited. This is a good thing when you’re practicing a skill, such as shooting basketballs into a net, but it can be dangerous if you’re gambling.

Unlike drugs, there are no medications to treat gambling disorder. However, psychotherapy is effective and can be a good option for someone with a gambling problem. Psychotherapy is a term for a wide range of treatment techniques that help you identify unhealthy emotions, thoughts and behaviours and change them. It can be done face to face or online and can include family members and friends who are affected by the person’s gambling.

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