The financial and emotional impact of problem gambling does not depend on frequency or amount of money lost. Periodic gambling binges can have similar consequences. Problem gambling is defined as a pattern of frequent and prolonged gambling, resulting in a negative impact on any aspect of a person’s life. In such cases, therapy may be needed, including cognitive behavioural therapy or behavior therapy. CBT involves changing a person’s mindset about gambling, leading to the development of new behaviors to control the habit.
Problem gambling is an impulse-control disorder
If you have a problem with impulse control, problem gambling can be a serious and debilitating disorder. While there is no single cure, the majority of treatments for this impulse-control disorder involve therapy, such as counseling, step-based programs, self-help, and peer support. In severe cases, medication may be used to treat the disorder. If you suspect you might have a problem, seek treatment as soon as possible.
The repercussions of compulsive gambling are social, psychological, and physical. This impulse-control disorder affects up to four percent of the population and can lead to serious health problems. The individual may experience migraines, depression, distress, and even attempts at suicide. However, with treatment, these symptoms can be successfully treated and reduced or even cured. By recognizing the signs and symptoms of a gambling addiction, you can begin to help the person stop the addictive behavior before it causes too much harm.
It can be similar to substance abuse
Problem gambling and substance abuse share many similarities. Although they may not appear to be similar, the two addictions share a common underlying cause: the person cannot stop using the substance despite the harm it causes. People with addictive tendencies tend to lie to family and friends about how much they spend on gambling and often gamble with money they don’t have. And they may not be able to stop once they start.
Problem gamblers also have more frequent attempts at suicide than non-gamblers. They also lose more money during a gambling session than non-gamblers. The main difference between substance abuse and gambling is that both affect the same areas of the brain. Substance abuse affects GABA neurotransmitters, and gambling is also similar in that it can lead to financial disaster. Both of these behaviors can have severe consequences.
It can lead to feelings of despondency and helplessness
While gambling has a high psychological and physical impact on those who engage in it, the effects on the body can also be devastating. These symptoms may include digestive disorders, nausea, insomnia, and even depression. In extreme cases, the gambler may also experience self-harming tendencies. Apart from the physical effects, gambling can affect the person’s social life and their family members. Fortunately, help is available for those who have a gambling problem.
When a gambler is in a losing phase, they often begin to talk more about gambling and their wins. This is because gambling produces a “high” similar to substance use, and the more a person wins, the greater their sense of relief. However, as the gambler loses more money, the problem tends to get worse, with even the possibility of a suicide attempt.
It can lead to thoughts of suicide
While gambling can have many positive effects, it can also result in feelings of desperation and stress. For people with problem gambling, the only way out may be suicide. Problem gamblers are more likely to think about suicide if they have large financial debts, which are a constant reminder of the negative feelings that accompany their gambling. Because these debts are often lifelong, they may even experience suicidal thoughts.
A recent report commissioned by the gambling industry charity GambleAware, the UK government’s peak body, found that problem gamblers are five times more likely than non-gamblers to have attempted suicide in the past year. This increase is not unexpected, as problem gamblers have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and self-harm than non-gamblers. Despite this correlation, there is no direct link between problem gambling and thoughts of suicide, but it’s a very real one.