Beyond the initial feelings of sadness about losing, when someone has a gambling problem they may feel depressed, as well as perhaps experience feelings of shame and guilt. When the game has gotten out of hand, it can make you feel heavy with regret, anger, guilt and shame. Both players and their family members feel that way. It's common to wonder if these feelings will ever shake off and feel better.
Players tend to feel guilt and shame when they lose, which can greatly diminish their sense of self-worth. These intense feelings accompanied by problems that gambling is causing in your personal life can lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts. But there are also other emotions, such as stress, regret, and a little guilt, that most people feel at some point, even if only briefly. It's easy to forget about this aspect of the game, but these feelings often build up, even if you don't play a lot or very often.
Problems with gambling also have a negative impact on the people around the player: spouses, relatives and friends. In particular, when people play a game of chance, the main driver of activity in the orbitofrontal cortex is the regret they feel about losing or the regret, after winning, of not having bet more. The key to effective treatment is to address the underlying emotions that lead to addiction, as most problem players use gambling to deal with psychological pain. I continued to highlight the word feel a moment ago to illustrate that this is exactly that, it is a feeling.
But if this is the case, why are players still betting even after losing? The problem is that problem players don't know when to stop playing, even when they have set a budget and time limit. Shame, regret and guilt are emotions that feel unpleasant, difficult and extremely painful to experience. A compulsive gambler will believe that he is only one bet away from winning the pot, and many believe that the game is based on skill to a certain extent. If looking at bills is difficult, choose a time to do it when you feel the most grounded and have a plan to do something that will improve your mood afterwards.
Because gambling is a popular social activity that is available everywhere from church fundraisers to sporting events, avoiding temptation can feel like a full-time job. However, in the short term, not gambling can mean abstaining in the only possible way you know in life that numbs those difficult feelings. As a result, players become more impulsive: instead of being more cautious when it comes to spending money, they become more reckless.