Gambling Disorders

Gambling is placing something of value, usually money, on a random event with the aim of winning a prize. It can involve betting on a horse race, a game of poker or a casino game.

A gambler can be anyone from a social player who has a small stake in a card or board game to a professional who makes a living from gambling. There is also a class of people who have a gambling disorder. This is similar to other psychiatric disorders in that it is related to brain function and has similarities with substance abuse.

While gambling can offer a rush when luck is on your side, it’s important to remember that you are supposed to lose. You’re playing against the odds and there is a large house edge with most games. So, if you’re going to gamble it’s best not to spend more than you can afford to lose and not to use money that needs to be saved for bills or rent.

If you have a friend or family member with gambling problems, encourage them to seek treatment. There are effective treatments that have proven to be helpful. It’s also a good idea to remove any temptation to gamble by getting rid of credit cards, putting someone else in charge of your finances, closing online betting accounts and keeping only a fixed amount of cash on you. It is also worth considering seeking support yourself through a self-help group for families such as Gam-Anon.

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