When you think of gambling, you may think of a good time. While that’s true for many, gambling can become a problem for some. Gambling disorder, also known as gambling addiction, can be devastating financially and emotionally. As with other addictions, many of those experiencing gambling disorders have underlying mental health conditions.
There is a clear link between gambling addiction and mental health problems. Gambling addiction can be very harmful to individuals and their loved ones, leading to financial problems, relationship problems, and even criminal behaviour.
Understanding gambling disorder
Gambling disorder is a mental health condition characterised by an uncontrollable urge to gamble. It’s not just about spending a little money on lottery tickets or going to the casino every once in a while. People with gambling disorders often feel like they can’t control their gambling, no matter how much money or time it costs them.
People with gambling disorders may experience suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide in some cases. Gambling disorder is a serious mental health condition, but it is treatable.
Gambling disorder and mental health
Mental health problems can also lead to gambling addiction. People with mental health problems may turn to gambling to self-medicate. They may hope that gambling will help them feel better emotionally or mentally. However, gambling addiction can make mental health problems worse.
It is important to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction. There are many resources available, including support groups and therapy. Treatment for gambling addiction is often very successful.
If you are struggling with a mental health problem, it is also important to seek help. There are many resources available, including therapy and medication. Treatment for mental health problems can be very successful.
What mental health conditions commonly occur with gambling disorders? Seek help if you need it. You are not alone. Read this article from Betadvisor to learn more about gambling disorders, mental health, and how to find help and hope.
- Depression. Depression is the most common mental health condition alongside gambling disorder. People with depression may turn to gambling to alleviate their symptoms.
- Anxiety. Anxiety is another common mental health condition. People with anxiety may gamble to relieve their feelings of worry or stress.
- Bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings. People with bipolar disorder may gamble to feel high or euphoric or calm down from a manic episode.
- Postrraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after exposure to a traumatic event. People with PTSD may gamble to cope with their memories or flashbacks.
How to help a gambling addict?
If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction, you can go with:
- Support groups. There are many support groups for gambling addiction. These groups offer peer support and can be a great way to connect with people who understand what you are going through.
- Therapy. Therapy can be helpful for both individuals with gambling disorder and their loved ones. Therapy can provide education about gambling addiction, support, and guidance for coping with the disorder.
- Medication. In some cases, medication may help treat gambling addiction. There are medications available that can help to reduce cravings for gambling.
Signs and symptoms of gambling disorder
To check individuals with gambling disorder, what are some signs and symptoms to look out for?
The most common sign of gambling disorder is an uncontrollable urge to gamble. People with gambling disorders may feel like they can’t control their gambling, no matter how much money or time it costs them.
Other signs and symptoms of gambling disorder include:
- Gambling more than you intended to
- Feeling restless or irritable when you can’t gamble
- Lying to family or friends about your gambling
- Hiding your gambling from others
- Experiencing financial problems as a result of gambling
- Have difficulty controlling your spending on gambling
- Gambling, despite knowing the risks it poses
- Feeling guilty or ashamed about your gambling
- Experiencing negative consequences as a result of gambling, such as job loss, divorce, or bankruptcy
- Having suicidal thoughts or attempting suicide because of gambling disorder.
Gambling disorder in children and teens
Gambling disorder is not just an adult condition. It can also occur in children and teens. Approximately 2% of children and adolescents meet the criteria for gambling disorder.
Talking to someone with gambling problem
If you know someone who has a gambling problem, it can be not easy to know what to do. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Don’t judge or criticise the person. Gambling disorder is a real illness, and they deserve your support.
- Talk to the person about your concerns. Let them know that you are worried about them and want to help.
- Encourage the person to seek professional help. Many resources are available for people with gambling disorders, and treatment can be very successful.
- Offer to accompany the person to their first therapy or support group session.
- Help the person create a budget and stick to it.
- Provide emotional support and understanding.
Treatment and recovery
There are many different ways to treat gambling disorders. Treatment often involves a combination of therapies, such as counseling and medication.
Recovering from a gambling disorder can be difficult, but it is possible. With treatment, most people can achieve long-term remission from gambling addiction. Many resources are available to help you or someone you know recover from a gambling disorder, including support groups and therapy.
If you are struggling with a mental health problem, it is also important to seek help. There are many resources available, including therapy and medication.
Problem gambling can have a serious impact on mental health. People addicted to gambling may experience mood swings, depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. They may also have problems with relationships, work, and finances.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction, it is important to get help.
James Wallace did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.