Gambling and mental health

Gambling and mental health

Gambling and mental health. Why does people’s gambling lead to mental health disorders? Well, gambling and mental health are topics that cross over frequently. These elements come together because betting can lead to addiction, which is often recognised as a mental health disorder. 

But, it’s not just post-gambling addiction you have to look out for. Depression and anxiety can be pre-gambling disorders. People with mental health issues can turn to high-stakes games as an outlet for their issues. The rush of taking a risk can lure you into a sense of security. 

For example, if you live in Norway, you’ll find that the percentage of people with gaming addiction or problems gambling is as low as 0.9%. This is likely due to their strict gambling laws and the availability of self-help groups. 

Expert on the subject, Jorgen Aasgen can offer more information on the psychology of gambling addiction. Norske online casinoer is a great place to visit if you are interested in trying your hand at games of chance. They also provide resources if you wish to learn more about safe gambling.

Safe gambling is a viable alternative. And while gambling may be illegal in Norway, the laws are not fully enforced. Many Norwegians play on online/offshore casinos without repercussions. 

Risk factors

  • Age and sex
    • Younger to middle-aged men are at higher risk of developing a dependency on gaming, according to the Mayo Clinic. 
  • Pre-existing mental health issues
    • As stated before, gambling when you have mental health issues can lead to addiction.
  • History of gambling addiction in the family
    • While not genetically hereditary, observing gambling behaviours in others can lead to imitation, leading to your getting hooked.
  • Excessive production of dopamine
    • Like most things, dopamine (a necessary chemical in mood regulation) can be harmful in large doses.

Dangerous gambling signs

  • Losing your sense of time
    • Playing so much that you forget how much time you’ve spent at it is not good. You may find yourself lost in a loop and losing money.
  • Distancing yourself from family
    • Ignoring responsibilities like family and work is a sign that you are becoming addicted.
  • Getting moody over the game
    • Having symptoms of depression or anxiety develop because of gambling show that you might be in over your head.
  • Betting more than you have
    • Spending more money at a casino than you should is dangerous. You might just find yourself in debt to loan sharks and risk losing everything.

Safe gambling

Some may argue that there isn’t such a thing as “safe” gambling, but there are ways to play cautiously:

  • Set a budget
    • Playing with a certain amount in mind helps you from losing too much. It is a good way to play and make sure you don’t dig yourself into a hole.
  • Playing for entertainment (not just to win)
    • Playing for fun, to just enjoy yourself, is an excellent perspective to take. If you’re not just chasing a win, you can find that it’s easier to relax.
  • Don’t use gambling as an escape
    • Don’t turn to high-risk games as a way to run from responsibility. Keep your feet on the ground.
  • Keep in mind when to get up and leave
    • Don’t overspend. With your budget in mind, know when to call it quits. Don’t get stuck chasing a big jackpot if your spending money has run out. 
  • Cherish small victories
    • It’s not always about hitting it big. Leaving with even a little bit more than what you came with can be a win. 

Problems gambling are born, like most problems, from excess. Playing prudently, with your well-being in mind, can keep you safe. In the wide-world of risk games or games of chance, you can find your niche. As long as you are careful and keep your head as much out of the game as in, you should be okay. 

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