Is Gambling a Mental Disorder?

Although the APA does not recognize gambling as a mental disorder, it is a habit that many people develop. Problem gamblers often view their addiction as a second or third job. This is a typical behavior of a problem gambler. They may be using gambling to get money for everyday expenses and may even borrow from friends or credit cards in order to make ends meet. Unlike alcoholism, which is a behavior that requires professional help, gambling does not require professional help.


A lot of Protestant denominations are against gambling, including the Christian Reformed Church of North America, the Church of Lutheran Confession, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Assemblies of God, and the Catholic Church. Other Christian denominations do not view gambling as a sin and do not consider it to be a source of ill-health. Most Holy Book paragraph 155 prohibits gambling, but it does allow certain games that are commonly found in casinos.

Whether it is an occasional social activity or a long-term activity, gambling has negative consequences. While it can be a pleasant novelty and a way to meet friends, the gambling habit can become too much and start to take precedence over other activities. When the gambling habit becomes a problem, it will affect both the gambler and the people around them. It can also lead to reduced work performance and reduced focus, which can have detrimental effects on relationships and careers.