Gambling Disorders – What You Need to Know

Oct 29, 2023 Gambling


People gamble for a variety of reasons: it may give them a feeling of excitement or the chance to win money. Many also gamble as a way to socialise or escape from boredom, worries or stress. However, for some, gambling can become an addiction. If you find yourself gambling more than you can afford to lose or taking out loans, it might be time to seek help.

There are a range of different treatments for gambling disorders, including psychotherapy, which involves talking to a mental health professional. Some types of psychotherapy focus on changing unhealthy emotions and thoughts, while others address specific behaviours, such as avoiding triggers like casinos or sports events. In addition, there are a number of medications that can help to ease cravings for gambling.

Several studies have shown that recreational gambling can provide positive benefits to an individual, particularly older adults who are more likely to be affected by the negative impacts of gambling [92]. One study suggested that seniors may engage in gambling for the pleasure and satisfaction it provides them with as well as for the possibility of winning money or other prizes, which can be used to enhance their lifestyles.

However, there is also evidence that gambling can have negative effects on a person’s health, including depression and anxiety, especially among those with lower socioeconomic status. Furthermore, it can lead to an inability to work or complete daily tasks, as well as problems at home and in relationships [93].

Gambling has a wide impact on society, both directly and indirectly. Economically, it contributes to tourism and other economic activities. It can also influence the prices of goods and services. However, the costs of gambling can be greater than its benefits – it can lead to debt, bankruptcy, and even suicide and suicidal thoughts. It can also cause other mental health issues such as substance abuse, family violence and eating disorders.

The social and emotional costs of gambling can be assessed using quality-of-life weights or disability weights, which measure the impact on a person’s life in terms of how much it reduces their level of functioning. These measures have been used in studies on health-related quality of life, but they have received less attention in gambling research.

If you are concerned about a loved one’s gambling habits, it is important to talk to them about the problem in a non-judgemental and supportive manner. It is also advisable to set boundaries in managing finances, such as limiting access to credit cards and avoiding gambling venues or online sites. It is also helpful to find other recreational and social activities to replace gambling. If you are concerned about your own gambling habits, there is a wealth of support available, from counselling services to self-help tips and peer support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous.

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