Gambling can affect many areas of your life.

Finances

A financial crisis is often what gets a person to deal with their gambling. It’s also not unusual for families, friends or family members to inform us that they didn’t realize that their loved one had a gambling problem until serious financial repercussions such as a court summons for debt non-payment or repossession action took place at home.

Financial issues will actually rise, and faster than you know. Bills are not paid, credit cards are maxed out, debts accumulate–day loan payments seem like a solution, but high-interest rates make things worse. It is also when people feel increasingly desperate to borrow or steal from loved ones, companies or employers.

It may feel as though there is no chance of repaying your debts unless you carry on gambling – we hear from many people who feel completely trapped by their financial situation. Continuing to gamble will only make debts bigger – clearing debts gradually will take a while, but in reality, it’s the only way to manage the problem.

Many problem gamblers have not let anyone know about how much they owe, and it can be daunting to take the step and tell people you trust, but it’s essential if you are ever going to take control and improve the situation.

Mental health

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, problem gamblers are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem, develop stress-related disorders, become depressed, have poor sleep and appetite, develop a problem with substance misuse and suffer from depression than others. We’re discussing some of the reasons for this in this segment, as well as giving you some advice if that concerns you.

Although a lot of people are playing to alleviate depressive feelings or other mental health issues, gambling can actually make these things worse.

If you’re playing a lot on your own, you might have found the’ rush’ of anticipating’ the big win’ to be very mentally stimulating and extremely exciting, may be better than the feelings you encounter involved in any other game. You may have also noticed the pain of losing a huge low resulting in feelings of despair.

Relationships

It can be very all-consuming to have a gambling problem, and as well as the effect on the gamblers themselves it can have a devastating impact on their relationships with other people. Recognizing one of the following?

  • Arguing more with your partner or family, especially about money
  • Being preoccupied with gambling and finding it difficult to focus on other things
  • Spending less time with people and more time gambling
  • Lying to friends and family about losses
  • Stealing money from friends or family to gamble with

Those are signals that gambling becomes a problem. Your friends and family may feel like you no longer care about them if gambling takes up all of your time and attention. In the long run, the emotional distance and stress that this generates can be devastating. Lying, breaking promises and continually missing important events will cause your loved ones to lose confidence in your relationships and this is very difficult to repair. Your loved ones might also begin to feel bad about the situation, particularly if they don’t know you’re playing games–they may think they’re doing something to drive you away.