Gambling is a mental health stress

Health Watch

MOST adults in our society are mindful of the physical health risks of gambling, but more evidence has surfaced showing that gambling also affects people’s mental health through stress.
Although the reasons for gambling differ from person to person, understanding why many people gamble can help those who want to stop.
Gambling is defined as the placement of betting money or something of value or gain on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning money or material goods.
Gambling requires three elements to be present:

  • CHANCE; and,
  • PRIZE.

Example – betting money on horse races, card games and gambling machines to name a few.
When a gambling hobby turns into addiction, it can cause personal and financial damage.
It is important for people to realise that we can enjoy gambling without it becoming a problem.
Unfortunately, over time, it can become an addiction.
Unlike drugs, gambling involves no external factors such as chemicals.
It is all about a person’s way of thinking and behaviour issue.
Gambling is exciting and thrilling, on the outset.
The expectation of winning seems to be a major reason for gambling becoming a dependence problem.
Most gamblers loose much more than they win and desires and get back what they have lost in another issue.
This invariably leads to steal or borrow money to gamble.
So the cycle of loss and gambling continues until the person is in deep financial trouble.
When a person falls into the cycle, it is called pathological gambling.
Compulsive and pathological gambling and highly associated with health issues.

  • WORK is affected due to a person being sleepless because some gambling activities take place late at night;
  • GAMBLERS cannot think anything other than gambling. Consequently, this can cause irritation, poor concentration because of induced depression;
  • GAMBLERS will have financial difficulties which can end up as owing money to others. Some gamblers get involved in theft, crime to raise money for their obsession;
  • CONFLICT and inter personnel violence as a result of gamblers not giving enough time to family responsibility;
  • GAMBLING, drinking alcohol, smoking often gets tagged together; especially when gambling activities are held in bars; and,
  • COMPULSIVE gambling is a progressive illness that may result into mental health issues and suicide.

Next week’s issue: Treatment for gambling addiction.