Gambling is an activity that involves predicting the outcome of a game of chance, such as on scratchcards or fruit machines, or by betting with friends. If you predict the correct outcome, you win money; if you lose, you forfeit your winnings. The practice can be addictive, and can have devastating consequences for personal and family relationships. It’s important to recognize the warning signs and take action to protect yourself.
While gambling can provide a source of income, it has also been shown to cause a number of social costs and harms. These costs are incurred by the gambler, his/her significant others, and other members of society. They can be categorized as financial, labor and health and well-being impacts. They manifest at the individual, interpersonal and community/society levels. They can be long-term, and can change a person’s life course and even pass between generations.
Some of the negative effects of gambling include:
1. Losses lead to debt and other financial problems, such as bankruptcy and homelessness.
2. Problem gambling causes a loss of productivity and job performance.
3. It can cause health problems and lead to depression.
4. It can result in family breakdowns and social isolation.
5. It can have a negative impact on children’s mental and physical health.
6. It can cause a feeling of euphoria, which can be addicting.
7. It can cause a rise in blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and strokes.
8. It can lead to addiction, causing problems such as debt and depression.
9. It can damage the family unit and lead to arguments.
10. It can increase the risk of suicide and homicide.
11. It can have a negative effect on people’s health, including depression and anxiety.
12. It can make people feel lonely.
13. It can cause a person to spend more money than they can afford to lose.
14. It can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.
15. It can lead to an uncontrollable urge to gamble.
Ultimately, the best way to stop gambling is to set limits and be honest with yourself about your own abilities. If you find yourself thinking, “I’m due for a big win,” or, “I could get my money back if I gamble a little longer,” it’s time to quit. The first step is admitting that you have a problem, which can be extremely difficult. However, many people have regained control of their lives and rebuilt their families after taking this courageous step. If you need help, reach out to the world’s largest therapy service—we can match you with a vetted therapist in as little as 48 hours. Start by completing our simple online questionnaire. You can do it! We promise.