People who play compulsively often have problems with substance abuse, personality disorders, depression or anxiety. If gambling becomes a problem, it can lead to low self-esteem, stress, anxiety and depression. If you already have a mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety, compulsive gambling can worsen your symptoms. Compulsive gambling also causes mental health disorders that will only lead you to gamble more.
If you suffer from both a gambling disorder and a mental health disorder, this is known as a dual diagnosis and these disorders must be treated simultaneously for a successful recovery. Problems with gambling are detrimental to physical and psychological health. People living with this addiction may experience depression, migraine, distress, bowel disorders, and other anxiety-related problems. Gambling disorder involves repeated problem behavior with gambling.
Behavior creates problems for the individual, families, and society. Adults and teens with gambling disorder have trouble controlling gambling. They will continue even when it causes major problems.
Gambling and mental healthproblems can reinforce each other.
This means that the state of your mental health can cause you to seek play as a release or escape, and gambling can damage your mental health. There is comorbidity with alcohol and drug problems. Many gambling addicts are also more likely to suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression, including thinking about suicide or attempting suicide. Over time, the player develops a tolerance to the game, becomes less rewarding, and may realize that he needs to take greater gambling risks to feel the same excitement as when he started playing.
Despite this, pathological gamblers are often not recognized in general mental health treatment, and even when they seek treatment, there are only a limited number of gambling treatment specialists available. Many pathological players report increased periods of tension before the game that can only be relieved by gambling. Here's a quick rundown of the causes of gambling addiction, the consequences, the connection to mental health, and the steps you can take to help yourself or someone you care about. Pathological gamblers have been shown to be more impulsive compared to healthy controls40,41 and this quality is believed to be an important risk factor in the development of pathological gambling.
An affected player can drain their savings, borrow money or settle retirement accounts to fund their gambling, damage personal relationships (especially with their spouse and family), and have problems at work. Like other psychiatric disorders, especially addictive disorders, almost every aspect of a pathological gambler's social life can be affected by continuous play. Depression is a common mental health problem that involves a low mood and a loss of interest in activities. It often severely affects sleep and physical health due to not taking care of themselves, even not eating right.
Because of its harmful consequences, gambling addiction has become a major public health problem in many countries. It is noted that the rates of alcohol dependence and nicotine dependence are much higher in pathological players compared to the general population. We want to share the importance of learning more about problem gambling as a diagnosable mental health disorder and of connecting people in need of care.