21 Apr

Health Risks Related to Excessive Gambling: The Bad, The Ugly and The Hopeful

Whether you bet on roulette, poker, slots, scratch cards, sports or in casinos, excessive gambling can interfere with work, strain relationships, and lead to financial catastrophe. You may even be lead to do things that you never thought you would do such as refraining from paying debts or stealing money. People who have excessive gambling issues may think that they can’t stop, but they actually can and put their life back on the right track given the right advice, will, and attitude are taken into consideration.

Thinking that you’ll win more and more each and every time you gamble makes gambling hard to overcome. Therefore, to start off on beating the addiction you need to focus on helping yourself. You need to learn how to focus on resisting the urges of excessive gambling. Start from telling yourself that gambling is too risky, and that one bet will lead to another, and that another will be followed by another bet. Know that the desire is endless and that you will never be able to fulfill it, thus letting go and realizing that it is not worth giving into is crucial and in actuality the smartest thing to do for both yourself and others. This is mind over matter and you shouldn’t deny that you have the willpower to get over the addiction just as someone does with other addictions.

However, if you realize that you willpower is not enough to control your gambling addiction, ask for help. Start with your family. Tell them of your issues and ask for encouragement in helping you to quit gambling addiction. This may be hard at first, as you may think you will be met with harsh criticism and disappointment but don’t worry, because family members will actually be more relieved that you sought them out. Everyone goes through difficulties and family should be there for one another. But just remember even as you’re getting support from your family and friends, you still need to get focused on your primary goal – not to gamble. Recognize the situations that trigger your urge to gamble, and then avoid them through your own practice, motivation as well as support from family. You can always fall back on the help of others and this is nothing to be ashamed of.

Remember that like other types of addiction, excessive or compulsive gambling can be treated. You are not alone. Your family and friends are there to support you, so keep that in mind all times. This cannot be stressed enough. If not treated, gambling can lead to serious health risks that can be detrimental for both you and your family, so get in the driver’s seat before it is too late.

In fact, unpleasant feelings such as loneliness, fear, depression, anxiety, and stress can trigger excessive gambling and they can also act as the results of gambling too much as well. Spending an evening at the casino or online casinos can be a fun or exciting way to unwind, and may take away unpleasant feelings that you have, but there are more healthy ways to alleviate these feelings. Instead of gambling, why not exercise, meditate, or spend time with your friends? You may even take a new hobby or explore relaxation techniques. These things can help you alleviate the unpleasant emotions that you have and prevent you from either gambling more or alleviate you from the consequences of gambling too much, which will later prevent you from further partaking in gambling.

Physical and mental health risks related to gambling also include depression, anxiety, and stress related issues including poor sleep, bowel problem, ulcers, muscle pain, and headaches. Additionally, excessive gambling is associated with suicide risk. Risks for suicide are high to those individuals with compulsive gambling behavior and to their family members as well. Individuals who are likely to attempt suicide are those who have a compulsive gambling behavior associated with mental health problems such as depression or heavy use of alcohol and prohibited substances. If you are making plans to end your life or feel suicidal, get help right away. You are not alone and you don’t have to deal with your problem alone.

Gambling doesn’t have to be a hobby that turns your life into a negative experience. But, like most things, if you let it consume you and take excessive thrills in it you may be setting yourself up for disaster. Gambling online or on other platforms needs to be done in moderation and under the right circumstances, so make sure you are clear of who you are, your limitations as well as your reasoning for gambling before letting yourself go down a line of destructive behavior.