Gambling is a common social activity that can easily lead to problem behaviors. People who have a problem with gambling often have a preoccupation with the activity. Gamblers tend to gamble when they are distressed and often return to gambling after losing money. Problem gamblers may lie to hide the extent of their gambling and rely on other people’s money in order to deal with their financial situations. However, there are ways to help a person who has a gambling problem.
Problem gambling is a health issue
The growing problem of gambling and associated addictions is a health issue. The United States gambling industry is predicted to generate $44 billion in revenue by 2021. With increased access to legalized gambling, the issue of problem gambling has become more widespread and public awareness has risen. That’s why problem gambling has been recognized as a health issue in March. Here are some ways to raise awareness about problem gambling. And remember, it is never too late to take action.
First, problem gambling is a mental health problem. While there are no physical symptoms of the disease, it often co-occurs with other mental disorders. Approximately 96% of problem gamblers also meet criteria for a mental health condition. Furthermore, problem gamblers have the highest rates of suicide of any addictive disorder. One in five people who are affected by problem gambling attempt suicide. And finally, problem gambling has enormous social costs. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, this problem costs the U.S. economy $7 billion annually. These costs include health and criminal justice expenditures, among other things.
It is a social activity
While most people enjoy gambling, it can become a destructive addiction for a minority. Compulsive gamblers seek the “high” from betting and increase their wagers to reach that high. They also tend to chase losses. Experts say that gambling is just as addictive as heroin and is the fastest-growing addiction in the U.S. today. In fact, the popularity of gambling in the United States has more than doubled in the last decade.
Although there is no single theory that accounts for all types of gambling, there are many common factors that affect people’s preferences. For example, people who gamble on video poker may do so for fun, as opposed to for money. Others may gamble for various reasons, including to escape negative emotions. Interestingly, people of different sexes tend to have very different gambling motivations. Older people tend to choose activities that require less decision-making and concentration. This difference is often attributed to cultural differences and sex-role socialisation. Furthermore, gambling is strongly associated with male subcultures. In particular, casinos are associated with boys’ childhood games, while lower-income people are more likely to gamble.
It can lead to depression
Although the research on whether or not gambling can lead to depression has been limited, it has shown that people who gamble often experience depressive symptoms. The results of these studies were more substantial when people were recruited from a general population. Lorains et al. identified 11 studies recruiting from general populations. They found an average effect size of 23.2% for major depression and 37.4% for any anxiety disorder. In addition, gambling was more likely to lead to generalized anxiety disorder, which was significantly associated with increased symptoms of depression.
Although the adrenaline rush and excitement associated with gambling may temporarily lift a person’s mood, the addictive nature of gambling causes their baseline to fall, which can cause depression. The worse the problem becomes, the more a person gambles and the more unsuccessfully they try to quit, the higher their levels of depression become. For this reason, it’s crucial to understand how gambling can lead to depression. By seeking professional help, you can reduce your chances of developing a gambling problem.
It can be treated
While gambling may seem like a harmless pastime, it can seriously affect one’s mental health. However, it can be treated in much the same way as other addictive habits, such as smoking and alcoholism. In particular, cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to treat gambling addiction. Those who suffer from gambling addiction may think differently than others about betting, or they may think they will win more often than they do. They may even think that rituals can bring them luck. Regardless of the cause, this type of therapy can help them examine their beliefs and behavior, and it may help them stop gambling.
There are many treatments available for gambling addiction. In many cases, individuals suffering from this disorder can successfully overcome the problem with help from a professional. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps individuals learn to manage their problems by breaking down larger problems into smaller ones. Other treatments are available, including support groups and self-help guides. Some people find that gambling can be a great distraction from other problems, such as work or relationships. It is important to note, however, that people with gambling addiction should seek treatment for both issues, because they should not neglect one to avoid the other.