The world today is grappling with numerous lifestyle diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Educating the masses and helping them manage and prevent such diseases costs billions of dollars. While at that, it would be wise to address the root cause of these diseases: addiction.
When it comes to addiction, most people often forget to include compulsive gambling on the long list. Gambling in simple terms is when you bet money expecting profits. But how many of the gamblers have won and can attest to positive change in their lives? Your guess is as good as mine. Very few people have been able to make the best out of gambling spoils.
Gambling often depicts the act of betting money on any event that has an uncertain outcome. This is with the intention of winning extra wealth. There are three important parameters that determine how one gambles:
- How much you will bet
- How predictable the event is
- Conditions agreed upon between gamblers
The difference between skilled and novel gamblers lies in how they weigh these three parameters and the decision of how much to put at stake plus how much they expect in return.
The games that are offered in casinos such as poker, Blackjack and Red Dog are a perfect example. Have you encountered slot machines and video poker? Well, those are some of the common electronic gambling types. There are also tens of non-casino gambling games like dice based games, card games and coin tossing. Arbitrage betting and sports betting should not be left out of this list.
While others call it entertainism, the truth is that gambling has more negative effects than advantages.
Dangers Of Compulsive Gambling
Have you ever asked yourself why people gamble? You may actually never get a satisfying answer to this question. The thing however, is that gambling is a practice associated with recreation. But when looking at this critically, aren’t recreational activities supposed to refresh and relax? Gambling, on the other hand, is very contrary to recreation. Leave alone peace or satisfaction because most gamblers don’t get it. In the real sense, it’s not even refreshing.
Betting is an activity that is mentally taxing. The more one continues risking more and more cash, anxiety will start building up.
As one goes on gambling, it becomes a habit that leads to damaging effects physical, psychological and social levels. This is often referred to as problem gambling.
It is clear that a gambling activity is based on an event whose result is uncertain. When the odds are high, the tension slowly causes stress especially when one loses. The effects of stress in life are lethal. Health issues such as ulcers, headaches or migraines, stomach problems, muscle pains and lack of sleep will soon set in.
Studies have shown that gamblers often exhibit changes in moods. This is accompanied with strangely secretive behavior. If you have experienced someone with drug related addictions you will understand how difficult it is to understand their moods. Changes in mental state and moods make it difficult for the gambler to relate with others in society.
When one keeps at consuming substances to get an alteration of their mental state, they soon become addicted. When one continues betting with the hope of winning and getting extra wealth, it also becomes a habit that is hard to stop.
The bottom-line is that gambling has proved to be addictive. This kind of addiction will lead people to keep at gambling regardless of whether they lose or earn in those deals. In the end, it becomes a thoughtless expenditure of cash and other valuables.
Strained Family Relations
The kids of parents who are addicted to gambling will feel abandoned and angry. This will increase stress and turmoil in the family. The children are likely to develop an addiction of their own somewhere in their lives. But in the long-run, such stress within the family will strain relationships.
Problem gamblers are not so different to addicts. They have a high tendency of abusing family members. According to research, about 17% of the children of problem gamblers get abused. Furthermore, nearly 50% of partners to problem gamblers have experienced abuse.
This may seem far fetched but research has shown that compulsive gambling is linked with drugs and substance abuse. They go hand in hand. Some for instance, will go for substance abuse in order to supplement the high they feel when winning huge sums of money while gambling. Others however, will go that way as a means of forgetting the sorrows of losing huge sums of money at gambling games.
Furthermore, pubs and casinos are full of substances of abuse. The more you visit those spots for gambling the more you are tempted to consume them. Gamblers also smoke and drink often while playing just to add to the merry atmosphere.
A good number of those addicted to gambling often suffer from substance abuse disorders. Worse still is that children with a parent or sibling addicted to gambling stands higher chances of taking to substance abuse.
Countless studies have shown that gambling causes harmful behavior in people. Gambling addiction is just one problem, which, when coupled with substance abuse can make the person physically abusive towards their families. This is why strained family relationships is one of the major effects of compulsive gambling.
Imagine the stress of risking large sums of money, coupled with the frustrations of losing it in the end. It dramatically increases the tendency of abuse in a problem gambling addict. This loss causes another loss to mental peace. In the end, this gambler may mistreat their children and spouse. In some, it has led to suicidal tendencies.
Believe it or not, gambling can result in criminal activities. This addiction can get on to the person such that they will not think wisely before taking action. This is why it is easy to find gambling addicts stealing in order to satisfy their desire to gamble.
In short, gambling can be likened to holding a gun. It can easily drag you into committing a crime.