Pathological Gambling and Mood Disorders


Gambling involves wagering money or something of value on an event with uncertain outcomes. This type of betting is common in the United States, where it’s legal to place bets on sports events and horse races and to buy lottery tickets. It’s also common in Europe, Australia, and several other countries. Some people also engage in gambling activities online.

The main reason people gamble is the potential to win money. It may also be a way to relieve boredom or stress. However, there are healthier ways to relieve these feelings and socialize, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques. People can also seek treatment for mood disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, which often co-occur with gambling problems and are made worse by them.

A significant proportion of individuals with pathological gambling (PG) report having at least one mood disorder in their lifetimes. Mood disorders typically occur before PG, although a few studies have found that the two co-occur at times.

Because of the nature of pathological gambling, longitudinal research is particularly valuable. This study design allows researchers to track respondents over time and identify factors that moderate or exacerbate gambling participation. This type of study also enables researchers to compare participants’ experiences with different types of gambling and identify patterns in the onset, development, and maintenance of gambling behavior. It can also help them identify the best therapeutic treatments for a given respondent.

Posted in: Gambling