Gambling is an activity where someone risks something of value (such as money or property) in order to win something else of value. This can be an enjoyable pastime, but for some people it can become a serious problem. It is important to recognise that you may be suffering from gambling disorder, and seek help if you are unable to control your behaviour. There are a number of different treatments available, including cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy.
It is well established that there are common harms associated with gambling, and these are greater when a person engages in gambling more frequently and with larger amounts of money. It is also recognised that the nature and extent of harms can be long term and complex, resulting in a range of psychological, social and physical consequences. Public health approaches to gambling related harm often make reference to the concept of ‘harm minimisation’. However, a consistent interpretation of this concept is not yet fully realised, partly because of the subjectivity of the definition of harm and the varying perspectives across disciplines interested in gambling.
Some of the most effective ways to help reduce or overcome a gambling addiction are to seek support from friends and family, participate in a self-help group such as Gamblers Anonymous, or exercise. The use of medication such as antidepressants or sedatives is also helpful in some cases. Research has shown that many people can recover from a gambling addiction, even those who have had it for a long time.