Often when we think of the damage people can suffer from gambling, we focus on the financial losses or relationship problems. But the risks that gambling can bring can affect all areas of our lives, and so can your mental and physical health. By keeping this in mind, and knowing what the effects of gambling can be, you can make more and conscious choices about gambling yourself.
It can be very difficult to know if you are struggling with gambling, as it is sometimes difficult to see the physical effects of too much gambling.
Harm from gambling is more than financial loss, it namely also affects how you feel, about yourself, but also about others and about relationships, work and your social life. By recognising the signs of when gambling becomes problematic, you can ensure that gambling problems and gambling addiction can be prevented as much as possible.
Spending more and more money on gambling than you can afford
Spending more often and more time gambling
Hiding gambling from the people around you, and/or lying about it
Having difficulty controlling yourself or stopping gambling
Arguing with family or friends about money and gambling
Losing interest in usual activities such as spending time with friends or family
Only thinking about gambling or talking about gambling
Chasing losses or using gambling to get out of financial trouble
Gambling until all your money runs out
Borrowing money, selling possessions or avoiding bills to pay for gambling
Gambling with larger amounts or for a longer period of time
Neglecting work, school, family, personal needs or responsibilities
Feeling anxious, worried, guilty, depressed or irritable
By knowing the risks and recognising signs in yourself and/or others, you can keep an eye on when gambling gets out of hand. When gambling becomes addictive, you can develop mental dependence that can lead to disturbed relationships with your environment such as work, family, relationships and friends.
For example, money problems can cause someone to become isolated and neglect themselves. It is then difficult to reconnect with the outside world, especially because there is often also embarrassment. So it remains a secret. You then want to avoid your feelings of loneliness and gloom by gambling again, leading you into a vicious cycle.
Make sure you recognise the signs in yourself and that you have something else to distract yourself, for example, especially at times when you feel the urge to gamble.
Want to know what you can do when you feel the urge to gamble? Check out 9 tips that can help you stay in control here.