Gambling addiction is a serious mental health condition. It can cause problems with relationships, finances and health. Treatment options can include counseling, medication and support groups.
Gamblers usually start gambling at a young age. They might hear their parents brag about winning money, or they may feel a social pressure to gamble.
They might use gambling as a coping mechanism to deal with stress, depression or other emotional issues. When they become compulsive about it, it becomes an addiction.
It can be a problem for people who have a high risk of getting addicted, such as those with an underlying mental illness or substance abuse disorder. They might also have a strong family history of problem gambling.
Symptoms of gambling addiction vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. Some people experience only small episodes of impulsive betting, while others have a constant urge to gamble and cannot stop.
The most common symptom of a gambling addiction is financial problems, often due to debt. These individuals may need assistance from family or friends to pay their bills, cover living expenses or recover the money they lost gambling.
They may also break the law to get their money back. These behaviors are illegal and can lead to jail time.
In order to overcome a gambling addiction, you need help from a trained clinical professional. Therapy can help you understand your addiction and learn coping skills to reduce your urges. It can also teach you how to recognize triggers and avoid them.