Gambling addiction affects many people in different ways, as does every other type of addiction. It can cause problems at home, at work, and within your friendships and family relationships. If you suspect that you or someone you know may be struggling with overcoming addiction, it’s important to seek help right away before the situation becomes worse than it already is. Understanding the negative impact of gambling addiction will help you keep yourself safe and the people around you safe from this destructive behaviour. Here are some of the main areas where gambling addiction negatively impacts people in all walks of life.
Extreme emotions or mood swings
While it’s natural to experience ups and downs, extreme emotional swings can be a sign of an underlying disorder. Mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder are treatable but difficult to manage on your own. Seeking professional help can help stabilise these sudden changes in moods. If you know someone struggling with an unstable temperament, encourage them to seek help. Studies have shown that talking about a problem helps alleviate stress and anxiety.
Feeling that gambling is the only thing you enjoy
If you find yourself unable to enjoy your day without a bet, it may be time to start asking questions about whether or not gambling is an addiction. A betting addiction is bad for both you and those around you, but with help from counsellors, it’s possible to kick your problem. If you feel that gambling has become a destructive force in your life, don’t wait.
If you feel that gambling has interfered with your sleeping patterns, it may be a sign that you have a problem. It’s normal to lose sleep when you are stressed and overwhelmed, but if it happens on a regular basis, then there’s an issue. Remember that gambling is not going to solve your problems; rather, it will cause you to encounter new ones. Work out ways in which you can unwind and relieve stress before turning to gambling as a release mechanism.
Using gambling as a way to deal with other problems
If gambling has become a coping mechanism for stress, it’s important to address why you are putting yourself at risk for a negative outcome. Consider whether there is something about your life that is causing you stress and how you can address these issues instead of turning to unhealthy behaviours like gambling. Even if it’s not directly related to your job, consider seeking help with a professional counsellor or therapist. There are options available that can assist in finding solutions to common problems.
Feeling depressed or anxious
People who are depressed or anxious may gamble as a means to escape their negative feelings. Unfortunately, engaging in these activities may only exacerbate your problems. When you’re gambling and losing money, you can feel bad about yourself. This causes more stress, which leads to self-defeating behaviour and even bigger losses at the casino or gaming hall. Gamblers who experience anxiety and depression should seek help from a psychologist rather than trying to minimise their problems with gambling.
Having suicidal thoughts
One of the biggest dangers of gambling addiction is that, in some cases, it can lead to suicidal thoughts. It can be especially distressing for someone who already suffers from anxiety or depression. These thoughts are only amplified by a common misconception about gambling addiction: that gamblers aren’t responsible for their actions, and that they’re not harming themselves by their gambling habits.