From visiting online casinos to real money roulette, there are diverse kinds of gambling. However, some confusion exists about the mental state of gamblers. In this article, we will shed insights on gambling and your mental health.
Different types of gambling exist, ranging from online casinos or casino websites to physical betting outfits. However, many people do not fully understand the nature of gambling.
Sure, some of them may have slight understandings of “odds” and “house-edge” used by real money roulettes, but only a few realize the real chances of winning. This leads these individuals to allow fiction, myths, and fantasies to take root in their minds, and such actions can make gambling affect their mental health.
Problem gambling is the urge to gamble without a sense of direction or a desire to stop. This continuous gambling behavior may cause harm to the gambler and others, directly or indirectly. Therefore, there is a need to recognize the signs and symptoms of this addiction. We also need to understand the psychology of gambling and ensure to take measures to safeguard your health against problem gambling.
Why Do We Gamble?
Whether you use online casinos or not, there is a reason why you gamble. Basically, it begins from human nature to take risks. That anticipation of winnings leads to the rush of adrenaline, which creates a natural “high.” Other reasons why we gamble include:
- To escape from the pressures of their daily lives
- As a way of solving financial problems
- Due to the suggestive feeling proposed by the media about being seen in “high society”
- Having a competitive inclination to beat other players, dealers, or bookies
When Gambling Becomes A Problem
It is difficult to recognize when gambling becomes a problem because it is different for everyone. However, one such way is by feeling that it is now a chore instead of a fun activity.
It is also helpful to give heed to your family and friends whenever they complain that it is causing issues in your life. Nevertheless, it is also possible for the problem to grow without you realizing how much of a problem it has become.
What is Gambling Disorder?
Gambling Disorder, also known as compulsive gambling, or gambling addiction, occurs when one engages in repetitive problematic gambling behavior causing distress or significant challenges. Usually, this behavior causes effects that are similar to effects one with alcoholism gets after taking alcohol. Therefore, they crave gambling just as one craves alcohol or substances.
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, the disorder causes progressive addiction, which is characterized by an enhanced preoccupation with the need to bet more money continuously, leading to irritability, restlessness when attempting to stop, or chasing losses and the loss of control.
Signs and Symptoms of Gambling Disorders
Gambling disorder happens in different ways. According to the American Psychiatric Association, an individual diagnosed with at least four of these symptoms may have a gambling disorder:
- Spending an increasing amount of money to achieve that buzz or excitement
- When stopping or cutting down gambling leads to restlessness or irritability
- Being unable to stop, reduce or control gambling
- Often preoccupied with gambling (one thinks about gambling or reliving gambling experiences, planning for future bets non-stop throughout the day).
- Feels guilty, helpless, anxious or depressed when gambling
- Gambles more money especially after losing (chasing one’s losses)
- Conceals gambling event by lying
- Loses interest in other areas of one’s life to the extent of jeopardizing one’s career, education, job, or relationship.
- Borrows or stealing money from others to fund gambling habits or alleviate the financial struggles caused by excessive gambling.
- Arguing with the family or partner especially about debts, money, and budgeting.
Treatment for gambling problems
The first step to treatment is realizing that you have a problem. It takes courage and strength to recognize these problems and take the necessary steps towards healing. Next, use these steps to break that habit and move towards healthier choices:
- Learn to alleviate stress and unpleasant feelings: Build a positive mindset towards the future. Realize that whatever happened in the past can be left behind for greater things in the future. Build new habits that support positive living such as exercising, meditating, new hobbies and spend time with friends that don’t gamble.
- Build strong support: Reconnect with your friends and family. Your support network can keep you accountable every step of the way to redemption. If your support network is limited, make new friends by joining a local club or even volunteering.
- Build a strong emotional network: Gambling disorders begins from the emotional framework. Therefore, you need to join hands with people who have been in your shoes before. For example, Gamblers Anonymous provides access to a huge community of people ready to share experiences and support one another.
- Seek Counseling: Counseling is a fantastic way to redefine your emotional self from the ground up. You can seek counseling for yourself and your family members who may have been affected by your gambling choices in different ways. With counseling, you will achieve a more definite step towards healing.
Conclusion – How to Play and stay Health?
Problem gambling is a serious condition. Whether you use online casinos or real money roulette, it is possible to develop this problem. It can even affect people of all backgrounds and intelligence. Fortunately, there are ways to heal from problem gambling. By taking steps to build your mental health, build strong emotional networks, or seek counseling, you can take steps towards eradicating the problem.