Day: July 8, 2023

Mental Health and Gambling


Gambling is a common pastime in many countries, but it has significant impacts on individuals and the wider community. These include personal costs, societal/community externalities and long-term cost/benefits. In addition, gambling can have significant effects on the mental health of individuals, especially those with underlying psychological disorders.

Those with gambling problems often have difficulty admitting that they have a problem and may hide their behaviour from friends and family members. They may also lie to therapists and other professionals about the extent of their involvement in gambling. They are likely to feel shame, guilt and anxiety when they lose money and may try to relieve these feelings by engaging in other unhealthy activities such as alcohol or drugs.

Some individuals may also benefit from gambling as a form of socialization, which can bring people together and provide relaxation. For example, a charity casino night can help raise funds for a good cause and allow individuals to come together in a fun environment. However, it is important to note that excessive gambling can have negative social and economic consequences and should be avoided.

For some people, gambling can become an addiction and lead to serious problems. These can impact their families, relationships and work life, and can be difficult to overcome without the support of others. Some of these problems can be exacerbated by other factors, such as depression and low self-esteem.

Problem gamblers are at high risk of suicide and have a higher risk of developing other psychiatric disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those with gambling issues may have trouble maintaining a job or keeping current with their financial obligations, leading to additional debt and credit problems. They also tend to have lower incomes and may experience more stress, particularly when their finances are in turmoil.

Despite the numerous risks, gambling remains popular in most societies and there are several ways to reduce the likelihood of becoming addicted. In order to reduce the risk of gambling, one should never use credit cards or take out loans and should only carry a small amount of cash on them at all times. They should also avoid using gambling venues to socialise and find alternative recreational activities that do not involve betting, such as joining a book club or sports team or finding a new hobby that will generate endorphins.

If you are having trouble quitting, it can be helpful to talk about your gambling with someone who won’t judge you – this could be a friend, a support group or a professional counsellor. Other steps that can be taken to break the habit are: Setting goals – short-term and long-term – these can help you stay motivated and focused on your goal of giving up gambling. Seeking professional therapy – marriage, career and credit counselling can help you tackle the underlying issues that led to your gambling problems and rebuild your life. Learning to recognise triggers – identifying what makes you want to gamble can help you manage urges in the future.