Hidden costs of gambling addiction
Gambling is an obsession that can easily turn into a pathological addiction. It might seem that loss of time and money are unpleasant at first glance, but not critical costs that one can cope with. However, gambling addiction has hidden and more serious consequences. Learn what excessive involvement in gambling can lead to and how to overcome such an addiction.
Why can addiction cause hidden consequences?
Gaming addiction is part of non-chemical addictions. This means that the object of attraction is not a psychoactive substance like drugs, but rather a behavioral habit. By playing games, a person tries to self-actualize or experience euphoria. It’s important to understand the reasons for such attraction, as they are closely linked to its consequences.
In most cases, addiction to gambling arises against the backdrop of a person’s difficulties in their social environment. These can include:
- Humiliation or bullying in childhood
- Work or academic problems
- Issues in relationships with friends or the opposite sex, among other reasons
By experiencing failures, a person tries to achieve success in at least some area of their life, and the quick winnings offered by the gambling business to attract new players give them a sense of self-worth and euphoria, motivating them to continue playing.
So, according to our findings, gambling addiction often occurs in people who are already struggling with psychological problems. And even though the addiction may temporarily mask these issues, it will eventually further destabilize their mental state.
Risk zone: dangerous consequences of ludomania
Painful obsession with gambling leads to a range of problems. Some of them are psychological and social, but there is also a high probability of physiological diseases, as it has been proven that emotional disturbances and stress directly affect the functioning of organ systems. Further on we will discuss the potential costs of ludomania one by one.
Isolation and relationship difficulties
If an individual develops a gambling addiction, it starts occupying their entire mind. Even during leisure time not spent on gambling, the individual constantly thinks about it. He analyzes their past experiences, creates strategies, plans bets, etc. They simply have no other interests left in life.
Shifting priorities results in the person losing interest in interacting with others, especially if those people do not share their addiction. Because of this, the individual can lose friends or even damage relationships with close ones. Moreover, the addict becomes convinced that others do not understand them, causing them to close themselves off from others and even avoid communicating with them.
While playing games, adrenaline is actively produced, leading to spikes in pulse and blood pressure. If this happens regularly, a person may develop cardiovascular diseases.
The constant involvement in gambling is equally dangerous. Being concerned about the outcome of games or the loss of money, a person gets worked up. This becomes the cause of psychosomatic ailments that had no prerequisites other than a shaken nervous system.
The same psychosomatics apply here. However, constant stress is compounded by disrupted life schedules, alcohol consumption, and other factors often associated with gambling. As a result, the afflicted person may suffer not only from constant headaches but even from migraines.
Trouble sleeping is another difficulty that will arise sooner or later. In this case, insomnia has two causes:
- Disruption of biorhythms. Avid players often engage in gaming throughout the night, disrupting the normal functioning of the body. Even if a person stops playing, they still can’t fall asleep.
- Psychological instability. Constant excitement and obsessive thoughts about the next gaming session or recent wins/losses also prevent a person from falling asleep.
Joint and spine diseases
While in the past, gambling halls with “one-armed bandits” were widespread, nowadays addicted players often turn to online casinos, bookmakers, and other resources accessible through smartphones or PCs. Since a gambling enthusiast spends a lot of time indulging their addiction alone, they develop a sedentary lifestyle. This results in weakened muscles that support the spine and other parts of the body, leading to musculoskeletal disorders.
It’s worth noting that these same symptoms are characteristic of video game addicts since electronic devices are also used for their activities. However, the reasons for such addiction differ from gambling, so a personalized approach is used for its treatment.
Work and financial difficulties
If gambling addiction is strong, it will inevitably affect a person’s financial situation and business relationships. The following consequences often arise:
- Decline in work quality. Physical exhaustion and psychological fixation on the object of addiction prevent the patient from focusing on their work duties. As a result, they start working slowly or producing low-quality output.
- Management dissatisfaction. It’s a direct consequence of the previous point. If the addict frequently oversleeps or fails to show up for work, it only worsens the case. Moreover, patients become irritable and volatile, which company management also dislikes.
- Job loss. If addiction worsens and work suffers, you risk getting fired in no time.
- Debts. Even if a person with gambling addiction has a low income or loses it altogether, this doesn’t make them stop playing. They start taking out loans or borrowing money from relatives, therefore, accumulating debts.
Furthermore, difficulties may arise in finding a new job. Employers in many companies thoroughly examine the applicant’s past to avoid unreliable employees. Large debts or gaming issues at a previous workplace can be a reason for rejection.
Breaking the vicious circle
The first step to overcome gambling addiction is to realize its existence and the consequences it leads to. Only conscious efforts by the individual will help them to:
- Set limits on time and expenses and not exceed them.
- Allocate the time previously spent on addiction to other forms of recreation and beneficial activities.
- Change their social circle to avoid a relapse.
- Continue efforts, tightening the boundaries until they can completely abstain from gambling.
It’s essential to combat the addiction, but even more important is to identify its cause and address it. Specialists at the IsraRehab clinic can help you cope with this. A personalized approach to each patient and comprehensive diagnostics will help determine what could have led to the development of the addiction and tailor an individual rehabilitation program.
The homely atmosphere of the center, effective methods, and the healing Israeli climate will help in overcoming the addiction and eliminating its hidden costs that hindered life before.