Problem gambling is a mental disorder that affects people of all ages. Whether it’s a daily habit or a more serious problem, gambling can lead to a host of negative consequences. This article explores how gambling addiction can affect a person’s life, relationships, and society. Despite the negative consequences, gambling is still a fun activity for many. Here are some ways to deal with your gambling problem. 1. Recognize that it’s a mental disorder
Problem gambling is a mental disorder
The term problem gambling has been around for centuries, with Emil Kraepelin describing it as “gambling mania” in the 18th century. In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association published a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition, with new criteria for diagnosing problem gambling. Based on Robert Custer’s work, the criteria for this mental disorder have undergone significant changes over the last 27 years, with more evaluative testing and research. Today, the DSM-IV criteria for problem gambling are based on a more detailed process, including a survey of 222 compulsive gamblers and 104 substance-abusing social gamblers.
It affects people of all ages
Compulsive gambling is most common in men, but it can also occur in women. Women tend to begin gambling later in life and can become addicted more quickly than men. Interestingly, gambling patterns are increasingly similar in both men and women. Risk factors for compulsive gambling include family and friend influence, certain medications (such as those for restless legs syndrome) and personality traits. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options for gambling addiction, including counseling and behavioral therapy.
It affects society
Several factors determine how gambling affects society. The economic and social costs of gambling include increased crime and domestic violence, as well as the costs associated with social services. Because there is no universally agreed definition of gambling, most studies discount these costs by applying a causality adjustment factor developed by the Australian Productivity Commission in 1999. The assumption here is that 80% of problem gamblers would not suffer any negative consequences if they did not engage in gambling.
It affects relationships
The effects of gambling are widespread, and not only on physical health. Gambling is known to affect the emotional well-being of both the gambler and his or her partner. It is also known to negatively affect one’s performance at work. A gambler may become unemployed, bankrupt, or homeless due to the spending of money he or she loses while gambling. For this reason, it is vital that a gambler spends his or her money on other things besides gambling.
It affects finances
If you’re someone who is constantly gambling, you probably wonder how it affects your finances. Gambling, whether it’s penny slots or casino games, has several financial consequences. As you lose money, your options for obtaining additional funds to fund your activities decrease. Meanwhile, your debts increase, and you end up forming a never-ending cycle of new loans to pay interest on the old ones. This downward spiral eventually leads to bankruptcy.