The Biopsychosocial Consequences of Pathological Gambling

Get Started Today Was this page useful? Still, one could theorize that pathological gamblers would be more likely to have engaged in binge eating and have higher-than-expected obesity rates based on availability of food buffets and free meals , traits of impulsivity, and a predisposition to seek immediate rewards. They feel they can't give up on all the time, money and emotion they have put into gambling. A financial crisis is often what brings a person to address their gambling. The effects of problem gambling on your life can be very serious from a financial point of view. State and territory governments should implement and regulate compliance of gambling venues with national consumer protection standards and harm minimisation strategies.

Biological Consequences of Pathological Gambling

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The impact of these highs and lows on the mental health of a person is significant. Studies show that brain chemistry and cell structure can actually be changed by this type of exposure. The brain's system of 'rewards' can be affected: The good news is that studies have shown that brain chemistry can be rebalanced, and everyday life can start to feel good again. Finding ways to reduce your gambling and getting the right support for yourself can begin this process. It is important to speak to professionals if you are worried about the impact of gambling on your mental health.

Your GP may be the first person you talk to, and they may refer you to specialist services if they feel this will help. If you are not registered with a GP, you can find one local to you at www.

If you are concerned about your gambling, GamCare has a range of help, advice and support services. Although we have no official statistics that link problem gambling and suicide, it's not difficult to understand how people could feel that there is no other way out. With other addictions, such as drugs or alcohol, there is a limit to how much a person's body can take before they need medical intervention. Gambling is not like that, and often a downward spiral can continue unchecked for a long time.

Especially if large amounts of debt are involved, it can seem as though there is no other option. Don't wait until it seems like life is not worth living. There is help available and you aren't on your own. If you have self-harmed or had suicidal thoughts or feelings, it is really important to seek professional help as soon as possible.

Maytree is a registered charity supporting people in suicidal crisis in a non-medical setting in London. Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities. They knew they had problems, but only gambling seemed important. Many people who gamble excessively have mixed feelings about gambling. They know they are causing problems for the people they love. They may become anxious and unhappy, and often hate themselves.

But the urge to gamble seems too great to resist. They feel they can't give up on all the time, money and emotion they have put into gambling. They can't accept that they will never win back what they have lost. Some people still believe their system will pay off, their luck will change or they are due to win. Others believe that continuing to gamble is the only way out of a situation they are ashamed about. Other people promise to quit, but can't. They fear their loved ones will find them out.

This drives them deeper into hiding and further into debt. They keep hoping a big win will end their problems. Once in a while they may win, which keeps their hope alive until the losses mount up again. If they quit now, they will feel like a loser. They will have to face all the problems gambling has caused. If you are like most people who gamble excessively, you may have tried to cut down or stop many times.

It is hard to change your gambling on your own. Counselling can help you find long-term solutions to your problems. Many people who gamble excessively feel stressed, anxious and depressed.

This can make sleeping, thinking and solving problems more difficult. If you have some of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, making your day-to-day life difficult, you may have chronic depression:.

If you have any of these difficulties, speak to your family doctor or other health care professional a gambling counsellor can also make sure you get the help you need. It is often the case however, that the gambler is so tied up with the gambling behaviour that they are unable to think about anyone else. There can also be increased arguments over the family budget and finances when there is a gambling problem in the family. Often the gambler is convinced that they will be able to sort the problems out themselves, when in reality they need help to stop gambling and resolve their debt problems in a more realistic way.

Broken promises and deceit can mean that partners of gamblers can lose trust in their relationship, especially if the gambler has tried to stop gambling several times but has ended up returning to the behaviour. It's easy to see how all of these factors can cause stress to a relationship and lead a partner or family member to question the value of it. Sometimes there is also a lot of guilt involved as a partner may wonder if the gambling problem is their fault, or if they have somehow contributed to the problem.

Problem gambling in a family can also have an effect on children - the impact of stress within the family unit and potential loss of relationship with a parent can have lasting consequences. Are you spending more than you want on gambling or struggling to find the money for bills? Gambling problems and financial issues really go hand-in-hand. A financial crisis is often what brings a person to address their gambling. Financial problems can really mount up.

If you have credit cards, you might max them out to pay your bills, or worse, to keep gambling. At this point, payday loans may look like a solution — but their high interest rates and charges are likely to make the situation worse. Business-owners can also find themselves in debt due to using business money to finance their gambling.

A common dilemma for someone with a gambling problem is how to get out of debt. For many, the chance to continue gambling in order to win it back and make everything alright again can feel overwhelmingly tempting. It might also feel as though there is no chance of repaying debts accrued through gambling unless you carry on gambling, so you feel completely trapped. However, think of it another way.

If you are struggling to control your urge to gamble, a win will probably not clear your debts, as you won't be able to stop gambling to pay them off. The temptation to repeat the thrill of the win would be high. A phrase we often hear is 'I cannot win because I cannot stop'.

In the end, losing more money and making the situation worse is inevitable. Also, using more gambling as a way of solving a debt caused by gambling in the first place is unlikely ever to be effective. It may feel like clearing your debts gradually will take longer, but in reality, continuing to gamble will only make things worse in the long run and may leave you with a far greater amount of debt.

The Cost of Problem Gambling in Your Community

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