How Gambling Affects People With Mood Disorders
Gambling is a risky activity where people put something of value at stake in order to win something else of value. This can include money, property, or items of sentimental value. It can also be an activity that involves taking a chance on an event involving skill and chance, such as lottery, scratchcards, or card games.
Some people are able to gamble responsibly and enjoy the experience, but others find that gambling can be problematic. Problem gambling can impact physical and mental health, relationships, work or study performance, and even lead to homelessness. It can also be expensive, resulting in debt and strained or broken family finances. Problem gambling can cause depression, anxiety and stress, which can in turn make the symptoms of mood disorders worse.
Generally, gambling is legal in most places and involves the wagering of money or possessions on an outcome with an element of chance. It can take place in a number of settings, including casinos and on the internet. It can involve betting on sports events, such as horse racing or football accumulators; playing games of chance like slots and fruit machines; or other activities such as lotteries, instant scratch cards and raffles.
Problem gambling can affect anyone, regardless of age or income. It can also affect children and adolescents. Teenagers who are struggling with gambling problems may have a hard time admitting there’s a problem, and they might try to hide or justify their behavior. They may have trouble with self-esteem or social skills, and they might have a negative effect on their parents’ relationship.
There’s been a lot of research done on the negative effects of gambling, but much less so on the positive impacts it can have. The reason for this might be that there are fewer negative outcomes to study, or it could be that the benefits are not as obvious as the harms.
Many people struggle with gambling, especially if they have a mood disorder such as depression, anxiety or stress. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, seek professional help. Mental health professionals have developed criteria to help identify a gambling addiction. For example, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists gambling disorder as one of its conditions.
The first step in overcoming gambling is to recognize that there’s a problem. It can be difficult to admit that you have a problem, especially if it’s cost you a lot of money or strained your relationships. However, don’t give up – you can recover from gambling addiction. Seek support from family and friends, and join a support group for those with gambling issues, such as Gam-Anon or Gamblers Anonymous. You can also contact a therapist or a national gambling helpline. Also, start managing your money better by setting time limits for gambling sessions and never use credit to gamble. Make sure that gambling doesn’t interfere with other hobbies and interests, and try to fill the void that it creates by doing more productive or enjoyable activities.