Impacts of Problem Gambling

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Problem gambling is a devastating disease which can affect anyone regardless of age, economic background, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. And in problem gambling affects more than just the gambler: it can have negative consequences for their families and loved ones, children, workplaces and communities.

The impacts of problem gambling include:

 For the gambler:

  • Mental health problems
    Depression, anxiety, stressed, reduced self-worth, suicidal thoughts
  • Cross-Addiction
    Increased use of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, etc.
  • Physical health problems
    Insomnia, headaches, back or neck pain, lung problems, stomach upset, etc.
  • School or work problems
    Absenteeism, decreased productivity, stealing, etc.
  • Financial problems
    Loss of income, inability to pay bills, increased debt, bankruptcy, etc.
  • Legal problems
    Arrests/incarceration, inability to meet legal financial obligations (child support, etc.)
  • Self-care problems
    Poor eating habits/nutrition, unhealthy personal hygiene, etc.
  • Social problems
    Arguments, strained relationships, failure to meet responsibilities, alienation, separation, divorce, physical or mental abuse, etc.

For family, loved ones and friends:

  • Verbal and physical abuse
    Which can lead to arguments, strained relationships, alienation, separation, divorce, loneliness, isolation and loss of self-esteem
  • Financial crisis
    Large financial burden placed on family members; money lent or stolen and not repaid to friends or coworkers
  • Betrayal
    Failure to deliver on promises, lying, etc.
  • Being manipulated
    Lending money/aid without knowing the true story
  • Lying
    Covering up or making excuses for the gambler’s behavior
  • Mental and emotional health problems
    High levels of anxiety, depression, sadness, anger, resentment, embarrassment, exhaustion and self-doubt
  • Physical health problems
    Insomnia, ulcers, digestive problems, headaches, neck and back pain and other stress-related health conditions
  • Self-esteem problems
    Feelings of helplessness, being overwhelmed, insecurity or responsibility for the gambler’s problem
  • Relationship problems
    Relationship strain, divorce
  • Role reversal
    Children taking care of the parents, parents overprotecting their children, partners performing all of the household tasks that were previously shared or a lack of sexual and emotional intimacy between partners
  • Poor self-care
    Neglecting their own needs while focusing on taking care of the gambler1

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