Gambling involves putting something of value on the outcome of an event that is influenced by chance. Some people who gamble develop a gambling disorder that can affect their daily functioning, relationships and employment. The condition is most common in men and young people. It can also be triggered by mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Research is underway to find ways to help those who struggle with gambling problems.
Those who love to gamble may enjoy the rush of adrenaline and endorphins, but it’s important not to gamble with money that you need for bills and living expenses. Instead, only use money that is earmarked for entertainment purposes. It’s also important to set time limits for how long you spend gambling. You can do this by setting an alarm on your phone, putting a limit on how much you’ll spend or limiting your casino trips to an hour or two at a time.
Some people are more vulnerable to developing gambling problems. They may have a genetic predisposition to thrill-seeking behaviours and impulsivity or they may be experiencing a mood disorder such as depression, which can trigger or worsen gambling problems. They may also be in a community that shares the same thoughts and values about gambling, making it harder for them to recognize that they have a problem. Research on mood disorders and gambling can help to identify what makes people vulnerable, such as the way they process rewards and impulses or weigh risk versus reward.