Gambling is an activity where people risk money or other belongings, usually in the hope of winning something of value. It can be a fun and exciting way to spend time and is often associated with happiness, but there are also negative consequences for gambling.
There are three levels of impacts: personal, interpersonal and community/society. The first impact is the gambler’s experience, while the second and third are broader effects that can have an impact on family members, work colleagues and friends of the person who is gambling.
Problem gambling is when a person’s gambling behaviour interferes with their life and their relationships, causes them to become ill or has an effect on their ability to work or study. This can lead to financial difficulties, homelessness and problems with their families.
The social costs of gambling are not well-measured and may be too ill-defined for them to be included in economic development studies. The National Gambling Impact Study Commission stated that the social costs of gambling are “poorly developed and quite incomplete.”
Mental health professionals have criteria for identifying a person with a gambling problem. These include the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria, which identify the onset and severity of the condition.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is another effective treatment for gambling disorders. In CBT, the patient is taught to examine their beliefs and feelings around betting, and to develop alternative ways of thinking about gambling. This will help them change their behavior and stop betting.
There is a strong link between gambling and thoughts of suicide, which can be distressing for the sufferer and their loved ones. If you’re concerned about your gambling, it’s important to talk to someone as soon as possible.
Psychologists are now diagnosing more and more people with a gambling problem. They’ve found that a person with a gambling problem is very likely to be depressed, have trouble with their relationships and be under a lot of stress. They also have trouble with their performance at work and can be in serious debt.
In the UK, over half of the population engage in some form of gambling, which can have a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing. It can cause relationship issues, a lack of self-esteem and a risk of addiction. It can also make them feel very uneasy and may affect their performance at school or work, getting them into trouble with the law and causing them to lose money.
If you’re worried about your gambling, speak to StepChange. We’ll provide free, confidential debt advice and support.
Gambling is an extremely popular pastime, and can be a great source of entertainment, but it is also an addictive behaviour. It’s a good idea to get help as soon as you think you might have a problem, as this could save you a lot of trouble in the future. A number of psychologists will also be able to help you break your gambling habit.