Gambling – A Popular Pastime That Can Lead to Serious Problems


When you think of gambling, images may come to mind of slot machines and casinos. However, gambling is much more than that. It’s any game that involves risking something of value on an event that is determined at least in part by chance. For instance, buying a lottery ticket is considered a form of gambling, as are office pools and betting on sports events.

Gambling is a popular pastime that can lead to serious problems for some people. It’s important to seek help if you have a problem with gambling. You can get treatment, join a support group and try self-help tips. You can also ask for family therapy and marriage, career and credit counseling.

Psychiatrists use the term “pathological gambling” to describe a condition in which an individual’s desire to gamble becomes out of control. In the past, the psychiatric community viewed pathological gambling as more of a compulsion than an addiction—a fuzzy category that included other impulse-control disorders, such as kleptomania, pyromania and trichotillomania (hair-pulling). However, in the latest edition of its diagnostic manual, the American Psychiatric Association officially moved it to the addictive disorders section.

While some people have a great time gambling, others can’t control their urges and end up losing large sums of money. If you have a problem with gambling, there are many ways to get help, including family therapy and marriage, career and credit counseling. You can also ask for financial management assistance or enroll in a gambling rehab program.