How to Avoid Gambling Addictions
Gambling is wagering something of value (money or other valuable materials) on a random event with the intent to win something else of value. This is a common social and leisure activity with numerous forms. Some of the most common types of gambling are slot machines, roulette, poker, blackjack, and horse racing. In some cases, a person can become addicted to gambling. This is referred to as pathological gambling (compulsive gambling/gambling addiction/disordered gambling).
The behavior of people with a gambling problem can have negative personal and social consequences, including the loss of money or other material possessions and alienation from friends and family. In addition, the behavior can be disruptive to work or school responsibilities. Moreover, the disorder can result in depression and substance use disorders. Symptoms of gambling disorder tend to start in adolescence or young adulthood and are more common in men than in women.
Research shows that some people have a genetic predisposition to gamble and are more susceptible to developing a gambling problem. These people may have less effective brain regions that help control impulses and weigh risk versus reward. Other risk factors include a history of trauma, poverty, and low self-esteem.
To reduce the chances of becoming addicted to gambling, it is important to limit how much time and money you spend on it. It is also advisable to avoid gambling when you are depressed or upset. If you do gamble, don’t use credit cards or borrow to fund your gambling. Also, set time and money limits before you start gambling. Then leave when you hit those limits, whether you are winning or losing. And never chase your losses – the more you try to get your money back, the bigger your losses will be.