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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What other problems are associated with gambling addiction?

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  • Anonymous

    When thinking about the typical problems associated with gambling, its important to remember that each of us has several factors that potentially contribute to the types of problems that gambling might be associated with.  Whilst the research is a very good guide, these individual factors cannot be ignored. For example, age, alcohol use and length of time of gambling are some of the factors that determine the likely difficulties associated with gambling.
    In general, typical problems associated with gambling are relationship difficulties (often based on conflict and/or guilt), financial strain, alcohol misuse/abuse and occupational difficulties. Mental health issues associated with gambling include anxiety and depression. A study by a US psychiatrist (Dr Nancy Petry, 2006) looked at 43 000 Americans and found that gamblers have significantly higher rates of liver disease, high blood pressure, high heart rate and angina (heart related difficulty).
    Talk to a counsellor or psychologist who specialises in addition difficulties to better understand the risk factors that you might have that would lead to gambling related problems. 

  • Bruni (Brunhilde) Brewin

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist

    Bruni Brewin is President Emeritus of The Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association (AHA), the oldest and largest National Registration Body for hypnotherapists in Australia founded in 1949, … View Profile

    All addictions - they start somewhere and sometime.  It can be a learnt habit or a coping strategy.  Repetition causes the addiction of gambling in either case.

    Factors can be abuse at home, relationship breakdown, loss of job or being lonely, leading to a club alternative lifestyle.  Whilst there, structuring time by gambling to compensate.  And as mentioned above, consumption of alcohol, increased smoking or other drug use can be part of the course for the gambler.

    Dependent on the original cause, from which the gambler already has feelings and emotions that perpetuates the gambling.  Loss of family relationships, through the inability to pay bills such as rent and for basic needs such as electricity, food, clothes and school outings for the children.

    The gambler becomes untrustworthy, gives broken promises, as he cheats his friends and family.

    Health suffers.  Homelessness.  Low self esteem, guilt, shame and anger at her/himself, anxiety and depression ensues.  

    The longer the problem, the more entrenched it can become unless the original cause is addressed through counselling and an altered perception on abilities for future goals is envisaged as a possibility.

  • I am a Melbourne Relationship Counsellor and Family Lawyer who is skilful in helping people get out of the pain of relationship distress and create … View Profile

    I agree with the above. Gambling is accompanied by an inability to set and adhere to adequate boundaries. There is often an inflated sense of entitlement and an inability to assess risk. Impulse control or the lack therof often results in other emotional and physical issues. Other factors that go with this are relationships which are characterised by a lack of boundaries. Secrecy and guilt perpetuate the problem and an inability to articulate needs in appropriate ways, for example being able to ask for help and support without shame, being able to connect in healthy ways with people that might reduce a sense of desperation and isolation that often accompanies gambling. Psychotherapy can really help with all of the above issues associated with gambling.

  • Marina Levez

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    Marina specializes in working with mental health and addictions by addressing values, core-beliefs and root causes using modalities suited to the individual client. Marina is … View Profile

    The most obvious problem a gambling addict believes that they have is that it is merely a 'financial problem' which can be fixed with just that 'one big win'. However, this addiction just like any other addiction has a much broader reach and affects every part of a person's life. It affects your relationships because as an addict you end up lieing, deceiving, manipulating, stealing from your loved ones. It affects your work because you do the same as just listed, but also your addiction affects your work and your colleagues because your first focus is on how to make that next gamble and not what your next task at work is. It affects your health, because before where you may have had a budget and you bought food and other items, you now start using that money to gamble. You no longer go to the doctors if you are unwell and you stop looking after yourself in general. Ultimately your mental health suffers. It is well known that gambling is referred to as the 'heroin end of drug addiction'. Gambling addiction goes through the same motions as any other addiction but is different in the form that it takes and can be seen as 'not that bad' but it is just as deadly as a substance addiction. If a gambling addict does not get help they end up being with a seriou smental health illness, in prison or dead.

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