• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
businessday logo


Gambling: Know the effect on your personal health

Gambling: Know the effect on your personal health

John’s gambling addiction began when he was in his mid-20s. He had always enjoyed playing poker and other card games with his friends, but his interest in gambling soon became a full-blown addiction. John began spending more and more time and money gambling, often betting on sports games and horse races. Despite numerous losses, John continued to gamble, believing that he could eventually win back his losses and make a profit. As John’s gambling addiction worsened, he began to experience significant financial problems. He would often borrow money from family and friends, only to spend it all on gambling within a matter of days. He also began taking out loans and using credit cards to fund his addiction, racking up thousands of dollars in debt.

John’s addiction began to take a toll on his personal and professional life as well. He became increasingly isolated from his friends and family, spending most of his time alone or at the casino. He also began neglecting his job, frequently calling in sick or showing up late due to late-night gambling sessions. As a result, he was eventually fired from his job. Despite his mounting problems, John found it difficult to stop gambling. He experienced intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms whenever he tried to quit, including irritability, anxiety, and insomnia. He also struggled with feelings of guilt and shame over his addiction, often hiding his gambling behavior from his loved ones.

Eventually, John’s addiction reached a breaking point. He was arrested for stealing money from his workplace to fund his gambling habit. Facing criminal charges and the prospect of jail time, John finally realized that he needed help.

John sought treatment for his gambling addiction, which included individual therapy, group therapy, and support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous. With the help of his therapist and fellow recovering gamblers, John was able to identify the root causes of his addiction and develop coping strategies to manage his cravings and triggers. Over time, John was able to rebuild his life. He found a new job and repaired his relationships with his family and friends. He also learnt how to manage his finances responsibly, paying off his debts and saving money for the future.

John’s case illustrates the devastating impact that gambling addiction can have on a person’s life. Like many addicts, John found it difficult to quit gambling on his own and needed professional help to overcome his addiction. However, with the right support and treatment, he was able to turn his life around and achieve lasting recovery.
Gambling addiction is a behavioral addiction that affects millions of people worldwide. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) officially recognises gambling disorder as a mental health condition, characterised by persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behaviour that causes significant impairment or distress such as financial ruin, relationship problems, and other negative consequences.

Read also: Protecting yourself- A guide to avoiding shady real estate agents in Lagos

Some tips to deal with gambling include:

1- Acknowledge the problem: The first step in overcoming gambling addiction is to acknowledge that there is a problem. Many people with gambling addiction deny or minimise the severity of their problem, so, it’s important to be honest with yourself and others about the impact gambling is having on your life.

2- Seek professional help: Gambling addiction is a serious condition that often requires professional treatment. A mental health professional can help you develop coping strategies, identify triggers, and learn new ways to manage stress and anxiety.

3- Join a support group: Support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous, can provide a safe and supportive environment for people with gambling addiction to share their experiences, learn from others, and receive emotional support.

4- Avoid triggers: Avoiding triggers, such as certain people, places, or activities that may lead to gambling, can help you stay on track with your recovery.

5- Practice self-care: Self-care is an important part of recovery from any addiction. This can include exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that you enjoy.

6- Create a plan: Creating a plan for managing your gambling addiction can help you stay on track and prevent relapse. This can include setting goals, identifying potential triggers, and developing coping strategies.

In conclusion, overcoming gambling addiction is a process that takes time and effort. It’s important to be patient with yourself and seek help when needed. With the right support and treatment, it is possible to overcome gambling addiction and regain control of your life.