The Impacts of Gambling


Gambling is an activity where people place something of value (money) on the outcome of a random event, usually with the intention of winning another item of value. Regardless of the outcome, there are a variety of social, psychological and physical impacts that can result from gambling. These impacts can have an impact on a gambler’s personal life, family, relationships, employment and performance at work, mental health, physical wellbeing, and even finances.

There are a number of reasons why people gamble, and for some the habit can become addictive. Some of the main reasons include: socializing, mental development, skill improvement and thrill seeking. However, some individuals can’t stop gambling and this is often because of other underlying issues that can cause problems with gambling such as: an underactive brain reward system, impulsive behaviours and the inability to weigh risks and rewards.

For some, gambling may also be used as a form of escape. It can be an effective way to avoid or forget about their worries, problems and anxieties in the short term. However, in the long run, it can actually lead to more stress and anxiety as the person continues to feel they need to gamble in order to escape their real problems.

In addition, studies have shown that gambling can affect an individual’s quality of life, with the impact being more pronounced in those who are ill or elderly. A study conducted by a nursing home in New York found that older adults who voluntarily gambled were more likely to experience depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances than those who did not.

Despite the negative impacts associated with gambling, many people do enjoy it in moderation and for a few hours at a time. The main problem is that for some it can become a serious addiction, which can have a profound and lasting impact on their lives. Often, those who suffer from a gambling addiction struggle to recognize they have a problem and have a hard time acknowledging the fact that their behavior is causing harm to themselves and others. It can take tremendous courage to come to terms with the fact that you have a gambling problem, especially if you’ve already lost money and strained or broken your relationships as a result of your gambling.

There are a number of ways to address a gambling addiction, including one-to-one therapy and group therapies. These can help you understand and overcome your gambling issues, repair your relationships and re-establish trust and financial stability in your life. BetterHelp offers a free, online assessment and matches you with therapists who are licensed and accredited in your area of need. Get started with your assessment today. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can start rebuilding your life and overcoming your gambling addiction.