Gambling addiction, also known as pathological gambling or gambling disorder, is a behavioral addiction characterized by a persistent and compulsive need to gamble, despite negative consequences or a desire to stop. It is a mental health condition recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as a behavioral addiction.
People with a gambling addiction may exhibit a range of symptoms, including preoccupation with gambling, increasing amounts of time and money spent on gambling, unsuccessful attempts to stop or cut back on gambling, lying about the extent of their gambling, borrowing or stealing money to gamble, and experiencing negative consequences in relationships, finances, and mental health as a result of their gambling. Like other addictions, gambling addiction can be difficult to overcome without professional help and support. Treatment options may include therapy, support groups, and medication to manage underlying mental health conditions.