There are personal consequences to problem gambling that most everyone is already familiar with. These include the financial fallout from sustained losses (the house always wins) and subsequent criminal activity.
Unfortunately, knowing this isn’t enough to release someone from the grip of a pending gambling disorder. In the early stages, one may exhibit a false sense of confidence that they are protected from the risk of debt, especially if they have the resources to keep sustaining losses. But what if they (you?) knew there were other unanticipated destructive outcomes? Perhaps it would encourage you to initiate self-exclusion and take further action to stop gambling. So what can gambling lead to that you don’t already know about?
5 Destructive Outcomes that Problem Gambling Can Lead to Beyond Direct Financial Loss
I. Impacts Ability to Earn Income
As alluded to above, you may have the financial resources to sustain a problematic gambling habit. However, if your income is compromised, the faucet would eventually run dry and you may indeed turn to illegal activities to keep gambling.
Can problem gambling actually impact your ability to earn income in a traditional sense? Absolutely. Research shows that excessive gambling has a direct impact on workplace productivity. Whether you have a career in an organization or you run your own business, it may negatively impact focus, creativity, and interpersonal communication along with your capacity for problem solving and deductive reasoning.
II. Destroys Families
A wide body of research shows that problem gambling has negative consequences on marriages, families, and children. It leads to higher rates of separation and divorce, which reverberates into the mental and emotional wellbeing of children (where applicable). From there a perpetuating cycle of broken homes may ensue for generations to follow. It’s for this reason, that in addition to individual therapy, Kindbridge provides gambling addiction support for families.
III. Impacts Physical Health
Athletes have a propensity to gamble more than the average person. You can read more about why this may be the case, right here. The reason for bringing this up, is the fact that there are a number of studies about how gambling disorder negatively affects their physical health. The same is true of the average person. Data shows that moderate-to-high severity gamblers are four-times more likely to have a poor diet than non-problem gamblers and nearly three-times times more likely to have low physical activity. Furthermore, low severity gamblers are twice as likely to smoke and binge drink. No matter where you land on the spectrum, excessive gambling leads to compromised physical health.
IV. Anxiety and Stress
Kindbridge Behavioral Health’s services include online anxiety disorder treatment, and virtual counseling for stress. The reason that we – a gambling disorder treatment specialist – provide therapy for anxiety and stress, is that there is a positive correlation between anxiety/stress severity and gambling severity. Mental health issues frequently accompany excessive gambling habits, with some being more dire than others. Please keep reading.
V. Elevated Depression
Clinical research finds consistently finds that up to 75% of problem gamblers suffer from symptoms of major depression. While there is a reciprocal relationship between the two, one only needs to look at the other negative outcomes above to draw a logical conclusion. As problem gambling leads to reduced productivity, social detachment, and family ruin in addition to poor physical and mental health, feelings of persistent or major depression may be significantly elevated. Recent research finds that problem and at-risk gamblers account for over 6% of people who have suicidal thoughts, and over 10% of all suicide attempts. The numbers are significantly higher than the general population rate (for suicidal thoughts and attempts) which both report at 0.5%. This is extremely alarming, and why you (or a loved one) must reach out for help right away.
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