If you are suffering from a gambling addiction, it may impact all areas of your life in a negative way. You may start prioritizing gambling other things you love, such as your family or job, just to get some extra time at the casino. It may also, of course, impact your economic situation in a negative way. The side-effects caused to ones health from a gambling addiction, are not to be taken lightly.
Gambling often starts off as a fun and interesting activity for most players. However, the transition from a trivial time consumption to a problematic gambling addiction can be quick, and often happens to those who play too often. It can start off as simple as scratch-cards, or a friend of yours introducing you to betting on your favorite football team. No matter the gambling type, we all feel good when we win real money.
The majority of gambling addicts won money early in their gambling history, either through several small wins or one big win. The winnings acquired by a gambler are often viewed as a “successful experience”, and something that the player can feel proud about. However, greedy as we are, we always want to top ourselves. And so, as our expectations to win even bigger increases gradually, we are willing to wager higher amounts, which increases the risk taken by the gambler.
Over time, playing casino games becomes more and more frequent for the player, whilst also becoming more risky due to an incremental raise of the wagering amount. The passionate gambler over time starts losing more money than they win, which may cause mental issues, such as frustration, depression, exhaustion, and guilt. These feelings may lead to low self-esteem, and the gambler turning to alcohol, medication, or other drugs to relieve the pressure, which only makes things worse.
The player may feel distracted by the thoughts of gambling whilst going on with their daily lives, incapable of focusing on what is going on around them. They constantly feel pressured to play more games, which could cause issues with social relationships with family and friends. The people around the player may start noticing a change to their behavior, causing them to be so focused with trying to help the addict, that they forget to care for themselves. This may also effect those who are trying to help, to also get caught with the same mental issue as the problem gambler.
You may not be aware that you have a problem, so listen to what those around you think about your behavior when gambling.
Take care of yourself, because your mental sickness may also affect those you love.
For information about where to find help, read our article about contact for addiction for canadian citizens.