Gambling As a Problem

Gambling is a form of betting with something of value (money, goods, services, or even oneself) on an event that is based on chance. It includes games of pure chance as well as those where skill may influence the outcome, such as card games and horse racing. While some forms of gambling can be very enjoyable, for many people it is a problem that causes serious harm in their personal and professional lives.

Problem gambling can affect people from all walks of life and can be triggered by a wide variety of circumstances. It can strain relationships, interfere with work or studies and lead to financial disaster. It can also lead to self-destructive behaviours such as suicide.

Although people with gambling problems are often aware of their issue, they may not seek help because of shame and stigma. They may also fear that seeking help could damage their reputation or job prospects. Despite the negative consequences, there is help available. People can find support from friends, family, and professionals. They can also use online or telephone self-assessment tools to help them determine if they have a problem.

Those who gamble can experience a range of symptoms, including cravings and difficulty controlling their behaviour. They may also be predisposed to developing a secondary addiction such as alcohol or drugs. For some, gambling can also be a way to escape unpleasant feelings such as anxiety or depression. Consequently, it is important that anyone who thinks they may have a problem gets a thorough evaluation from a trained clinical professional.