Effects of the gambling problem on the player


Problem gambling can have a serious physical, emotional, and financial impact on both the people who gamble and their families.

Why can't I stop playing?

  • How did it happen? I can't believe all the trouble I'm in.
  • If I stop playing now, I will have to admit that I am a loser. There is no way I can pay everything I owe.
  • If I had the money to invest, I'm sure my luck would change. I just need to win one more time.
  • Even if he won again, he would probably lose by playing again.
  • I can't face this mess alone, but I'm too embarrassed to ask for help.
  • I should be able to solve my own problems. How could I be so stupid?
  • I never thought this could be so bad.

Do any of these expressions sound familiar? Most people with gambling problems say they lost control over how much time and money they spent gambling. During that time, they ignored their other responsibilities. They knew they had problems, but they only cared about playing.

Most people who gamble excessively have mixed feelings about their gambling habit. They know they are causing trouble for their loved ones. They can become sad, anxious, and often hate themselves. However, the urge to play is too strong to resist. They feel like they can't give up all the time, money, and excitement they have put into gambling. They cannot accept that they will never get back what they have lost. Some people believe that the system will reward them in the end, that their luck will change, or that it will be their turn to win. Others believe that continuing to play is the only way out of a situation that embarrasses them.

Other people promise to stop playing, but they can't. They fear that their loved ones will discover them. This leads them to hide even more and to increase their debts. They hope to win a jackpot that will solve their problems. Every now and then they win, which keeps their hope alive, until the amount of their debts grows again. If they stop playing now, they will feel like losers. They will have to face all the problems that gambling has caused them.

If you are like most people who gamble excessively, you must have tried to reduce the frequency with which you gamble or have stopped gambling for a period of time on many occasions. It is difficult to change your habit of playing alone. Counseling can help you find solutions to your long-term problems.

Anxiety and depression

Many people who gamble excessively are stressed, anxious, and depressed. This can make it hard to sleep, think, and solve problems.

If you have any of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, and they make your daily life more difficult, you may have severe depression:

  • You have lost interest in usual activities.
  • You feel depressed, low spirited, or irritable.
  • Your sleeping habits have changed (eg, you have trouble falling asleep, sleeping, or sleeping too much).
  • Your appetite has changed. You have lost weight or gained weight.
  • You feel helpless, discouraged, desperate.
  • You have trouble thinking or remembering things, and your thoughts seem to slow down.
  • You have constant feelings of guilt. Can't stop thinking about problems.
  • You have lost interest in sex.
  • You feel physically tired, slow and heavy; or you feel restless and nervous.
  • You feel angry.
  • Think about committing suicide

If you experience any of these difficulties, talk to your doctor or other healthcare professional (a gambling counselor can also make sure you get the help you need). Tell him about your gambling problem. Treatment may include medication and / or psychological counseling and other assistance.

Suicide risk

The suicide rate is higher in people who gamble excessively, as well as in their family members. People who are most likely to attempt suicide are those who have a mental health problem (such as depression), who drink excessively, or use other drugs. People who have threatened suicide or hurt themselves in a suicide attempt in the past are even more at risk. If you feel like you may commit suicide or are making plans to end your life, seek help immediately. You don't have to face your problems alone. For more advice see the box on this page.

What to do if you feel like you might commit suicide?

If you are thinking of ending your life:

  • Go to the nearest urgent care health center immediately, or if necessary, call 911.
  • Keep any objects that could commit suicide (eg firearms, medications) out of reach.
  • Let your family or a friend know what you are feeling.
  • Call the Distress Center for assistance and information.
  • Inform your doctor of what is happening to you, tell him about your gambling problems.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use other drugs, it will make your situation worse.
  • Contact 1 888 230-3505 Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline and make an appointment with a counselor as soon as possible. They can attend you in a few days.
  • Talk to someone you trust, such as a friend or spiritual advisor.

Do you know if you or someone you know has gambling problems? .

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