Gambling is a form of entertainment that involves placing a bet on something of value, such as money or a sports event. It is a form of addiction that can cause a variety of problems including bankruptcies, crime, health issues and family problems. Gambling can also lead to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. It can also affect peoples’ ability to concentrate, make decisions and control impulses. People who have a history of problem gambling are more likely to experience a range of social impacts, including poverty, mental illness and strained relationships.
Unlike many other addictive substances, gambling can be very difficult to quit, as it has psychological and physiological effects on the body. The withdrawal symptoms from gambling can be unpleasant and include fatigue, nausea, dizziness, aches and pains, headaches, irritability, anxiety, and depression. However, there are steps that can be taken to overcome gambling addiction and reduce the negative impact it has on one’s life. These include avoiding gambling, strengthening support networks, finding healthier ways to relieve unpleasant feelings, and joining a peer support group such as Gamblers Anonymous.
Some people gamble for coping reasons, such as to forget their worries or to feel more self-confident. They may also be drawn to gambling because it gives them a rush or ‘high’. In some cases, a person’s compulsive gambling can strain their relationships with friends and family as they prioritise their gambling activities over the needs of others. At a society/community level, the external costs of gambling are largely monetary and include general impacts, costs related to problem gambling and long-term costs.