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How Gambling Affects Your Health and Well-Being

Gambling is an activity where you wager something of value, such as money or possessions, on a random event with the intention of winning a prize. The act of gambling activates the brain’s reward system, creating a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. People often engage in gambling because they enjoy the thrill of the game and the chance to win big. However, many people end up becoming addicted to gambling and experience problems as a result of their addiction. In 2013, pathological gambling was officially recognised as an addictive disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This means that those who have a problem with gambling are in the same category as someone with an alcohol or drug addiction.

People who engage in gambling have a variety of reasons why they do so, but one of the most common is to socialise with other people. This is because gambling venues are often social spaces where people meet, such as at casinos, online gambling sites, and sports betting events. People also enjoy gambling because it can provide a way to escape from the stresses and anxieties of everyday life, as well as provide an exciting new social environment.

When you gamble, the brain releases dopamine, which is a natural neurochemical. When you experience the release of dopamine, it feels as though your worries have disappeared, and this is why some people find it very therapeutic to gamble. However, dopamine can also cause addictive behavior, so it is important to limit your exposure to gambling to prevent a negative impact on your health and well-being.

Another reason why some people become addicted to gambling is that they are seeking a sense of control. They feel that they can gain control by using strategies, such as throwing a die in a particular way, sitting in a certain place or wearing an item of clothing that is ‘lucky’. However, the truth is that there are no such things as lucky charms when it comes to gambling. Moreover, the frustration of losing money can lead to a person seeking out more control over their gambling by trying to influence its outcome.

Those who engage in compulsive gambling can be deceptive about their activities, even lying to their family and friends. They can also spend a lot of time and money trying to recoup their losses. This behaviour can lead to financial difficulties, strained relationships and serious personal problems. In extreme cases, it can lead to a complete breakdown in mental health.

If you have a loved one who is exhibiting signs of gambling addiction, it’s important to seek help. There are many organisations that can provide you with support and advice. You can also find a therapist through the world’s largest therapy service. They will match you with a professional, licensed and vetted therapist in as little as 48 hours. Get started with your search today.