How Gambling Affects Your Mental Health

How Gambling Affects Your Mental Health

Gambling involves risking money or other material valuables on an uncertain outcome – whether it’s the roll of a dice, the spin of a roulette wheel or the result of a horse race. It’s often a form of entertainment, but can also be seen as a way to get rich quickly. Gambling is a dangerous activity that can lead to serious problems, and it’s important to understand what’s involved and how it affects your mental health.

People who gamble can do so for a variety of reasons, including coping with depression or anxiety, to feel more confident, or as a way to avoid feeling low. Some even become addicted to gambling and need professional help. If you know someone who is struggling, help them address the issue before it gets out of hand.

It can be hard to recognise when a loved one’s gambling is out of control. If they’re lying to friends and family, hiding evidence of their gambling or skipping out on social events to gamble, it can create a sense of isolation for those close to them. Over time, it can lead to a breakdown of relationships and trust.

Another sign that gambling is causing problems is when it starts to interfere with work or study, or cause other serious issues in your life. You might notice that they’re always thinking about the next gambling session or find it difficult to concentrate on other activities.

Taking risks with money can have harmful consequences, and it’s not uncommon for people who have a gambling disorder to begin to feel depressed, anxious or suicidal. There’s also a link between gambling and debt – people with a gambling disorder may borrow or steal to fund their gambling habit, which can quickly spiral out of control.

Gambling is a form of addiction that requires professional treatment, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This type of treatment looks at how you think about betting and your beliefs around it. For example, people with a gambling disorder often believe they’re more likely to win if they bet more, or that certain rituals will bring them luck. CBT can help you change these beliefs and develop healthier, more supportive ways of managing your gambling.

The Christian faith teaches us to invest the resources God has given us wisely, which means putting them towards productive pursuits such as businesses, farms or charities. When we spend money on gambling, we’re not honouring God and are squandering the resources He has entrusted to us. Gambling is an unwise investment with a high chance of a negative return, and it undermines good stewardship practices. It also perpetuates an immoral, predatory and exploitative industry.