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


Gambling is an activity in which you risk something of value for a potential prize. It can take many forms, such as putting money on a team to win a football match or buying a scratchcard in the hopes of winning the jackpot. People gamble for a variety of reasons, from feeling the rush of winning to taking their mind off problems and socializing with friends. However, there is a risk that gambling can become addictive.

In recent years, understanding of pathological gambling has undergone a change. For a long time, it was considered an affliction similar to substance abuse. This was reflected in the different editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (called DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Research has also shown that certain individuals may be predisposed to harmful gambling behaviour. People with an underactive brain reward system and a tendency to exhibit impulsiveness may find it harder to control their urges and weigh risks. Additionally, cultural factors can influence a person’s values and beliefs about gambling and can make it difficult to recognize that they have a problem.

It’s important to know that help is available for anyone struggling with gambling disorder. Talk therapy can provide a safe space for a person to explore their thoughts and feelings in a supportive environment. Using an online service like BetterHelp can help you connect with a therapist that has experience in treating gambling disorder.