Gambling is the act of placing bets on an event, often involving money or possessions. It can take many forms, from traditional sports betting to online gambling on the outcome of a game.
Several factors influence whether people gamble, including age, gender, culture and income level. In addition, the types of gambling that are available vary by country and region.
Addiction to gambling is an extremely serious problem, with a prevalence of up to 20% amongst the general population. The condition is a complex and multifaceted disorder, but it can be treated with psychotherapy and medication.
Treatment can help people to reduce or stop gambling and to prevent it from ruining their lives. It also can help people to regain control over their financial and personal lives.
A common symptom of gambling addiction is an increase in the amount of money that the person spends on gambling. This can cause problems because it is difficult for the person to cut back or to stop.
Some of the most effective treatments for gambling addiction include cognitive-behavior therapy, which teaches people to resist unwanted thoughts and habits. It can also help people to recognize and change irrational beliefs, such as the belief that they will win if they bet more money than usual.
The American Psychiatric Association recently changed its diagnosis of pathological gambling from impulse-control disorder to addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) version 5. This is a landmark decision that is reflected in how professionals treat patients with gambling disorders.
Moreover, this new diagnosis reflects the emerging understanding of the biological and psychological factors that underlie addiction to gambling. This change in diagnosis also means that people with pathological gambling will receive more effective and targeted treatment than previously.
There are also other treatments that have shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of gambling addiction. These include cognitive-behavior therapy, behavioral therapies and family interventions.
Harm related to gambling has been a topic of considerable debate. The existing literature is inconsistent on the extent of harm, and on the appropriate ways of describing it.
In this paper we propose a definition and conceptual framework for harm related to gambling that captures the full breadth of harm associated with gambling, including both smaller and greater levels of harm. The framework includes a taxonomy of gambling related harms that will facilitate future measurement and operationalisation.
The proposed definition is grounded in a public health approach to gambling to allow for future measurement of harm that is consistent with standard approaches to measuring health outcomes, and allows for the inclusion of comorbidities as part of this measurement.
Gambling harm is defined as the impact of gambling on a person who gambles, their family and friends, and the wider community that they are part of. It includes the experience of harm across different domains and varying temporal periods in a person’s life, including from the first time they engage with gambling.