Gambling is an activity in which people stake something of value, such as money or other valuable items, on the outcome of a game of chance or an uncertain event. It is a popular pastime that can result in large winnings or losses. People gamble in many settings, including casinos, racetracks, and on the Internet.
People with mental health problems are more likely to gamble to cope or escape their moods. They may also be at risk of gambling related debt. If you know a family member with a problem, help them break the habit by setting clear boundaries around managing their money. It’s also a good idea to talk to them about any underlying issues such as depression, stress, or substance abuse.
The understanding of pathological gambling has undergone a great deal of change in recent years. It is now generally accepted that it is a psychological disorder, similar to alcoholism. This change has been reflected in, or at least stimulated by, the various editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association.