People gamble for many reasons. It can be boredom or loneliness. During this time that we are experiencing the pandemic, it is natural to experience both, which leads some people working from home to experiment with online gambling and realize its excitement. Gambling is a form of escapism in a way that gamblers may feel “high” while playing. The more they play, the more they are hooked to it. Like any vices, once you’re drawn to it, it has consequences.
The positive effects of gambling
Improves Mental Skills
Playing any form of a game can improve our intellect and make us vigilant and observant hence, gambling improves our mental health. Some senior citizens play blackjack to maintain alertness of the mind and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It enables them to use tactics to carry out a complex strategy to try to win.
Gambling is a form of entertainment so it brings people together. In the world of video games and gambling, we meet all sorts of people therefore there is an interaction among individuals and play in a friendly setting. Studies have shown that during these times of pandemic, a lot of people suffer from depression young and old alike so any form of socialization boosts their esteem and gives them an escape to the bitter predicament we are facing at the moment.
Let’s face it. If you tried a slot machine then you hit the jackpot, how would you feel? It makes you hyper and ecstatic and you want to play more. Gambling gives happiness and improves a positive mood to a player. Studies show that people whose hobbies are gambling like Mahjong in some Asian countries perform better in their business and live a better life than those who used the television as a form of entertainment. If you want to learn something more about this just click here.
The negative effects of gambling
Anything that is uncontrollable can be detrimental including gambling. If gambling became a vice, the tendency is the player might have financial losses, unemployment, bankruptcy, debt, depression, forced home sales, and damage one’s relationships to family and loved ones. Worse, some even resort to fraud or theft to get gambling money. This is already what we call gambling addiction especially if they continue playing despite all the negative effects that hit their finances, relationships, and well-being.
How to detect if someone has a gambling disorder
- If a person gambles to escape problems, anxiety, and depression
- Always thinks about gambling and the need to bet to increase the amount of winning money or try to get back the lost money )chasing losses)
- Lying to family members, work, or others to cover the extent of gambling
- Restlessness and irritability when one cannot gamble
- Jeopardizing the once important matters especially the work and family of an individual because of gambling.
- Resort to stealing and fraud
People suffering from it need psychological help. They need counseling and the people around them should continue to encourage them to change for the better.
Most people with gambling issues when asked said they lost control over how much time and money they have spent on gambling and that they ignored other responsibilities especially their families.
How to stop gambling
Gambling can be challenging but can be treated like any form of vice. The first step to overcome this challenge is by admitting to oneself that he/she is a compulsive gambler and needs help. Second, a family member should support him/her.
- Behavior and/or Cognitive therapy. Behavioral therapy uses exposure to negative behavior and teaches you to reduce the urge. Cognitive therapy focuses on distinguishing the negative, irrational, and not healthy side of gambling and replacing it with positive.
- Medications. Compulsive gamblers when they try to quit usually experience depression and temper. Antidepressants and mood stabilizers are prescribed to help them calm down and feel relaxed.
- Self-help groups. Talking to others and sharing their experience and present condition is a big help for the person with gambling problems to overcome their predicament and get back on their feet.
Gambling has its positive and negative side like any other form of vice. It can be constructive and destructive. There is nothing wrong with gambling, it is up to the person who controls it.