Gambling addiction is a serious issue that impacts many in our society, resulting in financial ruin, damaged relationships and even criminal activity.
Gambling can take many forms and be motivated by various reasons. Some gamble for entertainment, while others do it to distract themselves from problems or feelings of anxiety or depression.
1. It can lead to financial ruin
Gamblers or those who have family members suffering from gambling addiction know the pain it can cause. Fortunately, there are resources available to help you conquer your issue and move on with life.
Gambling addiction is an impulse control disorder that can negatively impact both your financial and interpersonal stability. You may find yourself spending money you don’t have, lying about your habits to avoid further losses, or stealing from family and friends to support your habit.
If you’re struggling with gambling, reach out to a professional counselor who can assess your situation and offer assistance. They may create an action plan to pay off debts and improve your financial health.
Eliminate debt is one of the most effective methods for recovering from gambling addiction. To do this, create a budget and adhere to it. Additionally, create an organized schedule for day-to-day finances. Knowing how much money is necessary each month allows for prioritizing expenses and finding ways to generate additional income quickly enough to pay off debt faster.
2. It can lead to addiction
Gambling addiction can be caused by a variety of factors, such as genetic predisposition, personality traits and social or economic circumstances. No matter the exact source, gambling can have an adverse effect on one’s relationships, finances and workplace.
Gambling addiction can manifest as a person’s continued need to gamble despite serious financial, social or legal repercussions – this is known as compulsive gambling.
People with this disorder often lie to themselves and rationalize their behaviors. This is a natural psychological reaction in order to reduce cognitive dissonance when one’s behaviors don’t match one’s values or beliefs.
Gambling can trigger the brain’s reward system in much the same way drugs or alcohol do, potentially leading to addiction. As such, the American Psychiatric Association recently reclassified gambling as a behavioral addiction.
3. It can lead to strained relationships
Gambling addiction can have a profound effect on relationships, particularly intimate ones. This could result in loss of trust, sexual dysfunction and an overall weakening of the bond.
Problem gamblers may try to conceal their activities or make false statements about where they have been. They could also turn towards stealing from loved ones or businesses in an effort to cover up for losses incurred.
Financial issues can quickly spiral out of control when bills go unpaid, credit cards are maxed out and debts accumulate. This leaves a substantial void in household income, making it difficult to meet daily living expenses.
Relationships may experience a negative consequence due to this behavior, with non-gambling partners feeling betrayed and hurt by their spouse’s gambling habits. They may become angry and resentful over this circumstance and grow increasingly distant from their partner.
4. It can lead to criminal activity
Gambling is the act of wagering something of value on a random event with the aim to gain equal or greater gain. There are various forms of gambling, such as gaming, betting and lottery.
Gambling addiction can lead to petty crime, embezzlement and theft out of desperation for those struggling to recoup what they’ve lost. These acts may indicate signs of mental instability as well.
Research has indicated that people who struggle with gambling are more likely to commit crimes than those without. However, the links between problem gambling and criminal activity may be obscured by other influences that come before either (Banks & Waugh, 2019; Spapens, 2008).