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Physical Consequences of Gambling on Our Body



Physical Consequences of Gambling on Our Body

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Joshua Isibor

Gambling is an exciting pastime that can also be rewarding. Most people celebrate their wins but feel a little down when they lose. While these are natural emotions, pathological gambling, also known as problem gambling, can have many adverse effects. 

Gambling rarely causes physical consequences. The majority of problem gamblers experience psychological effects. However, physical effects can stem from the psychological and emotional distress caused by problem gambling. Here’s a look at some physical consequences of gambling:

What Does Gambling Do To The Body?

Gambling in itself is a fun-filled activity that comes with the thrills of social participation. Winning is also a big part of gambling, introducing a unique dynamic to the experience. When you gamble, your body releases the feel-good hormone dopamine, which makes you excited. The thrill is even greater when you make correct predictions and win real cash. 

Unfortunately, you can’t win every bet. In fact, gambling can result in a streak of losses, especially if you bet without a sound strategy. Some people let the thrill of betting and winning take over, which can result in bad gambling habits. Failing to recognize when to walk away can lead to serious gambling problems, including compulsive betting.

Can Gambling Lead To Physical Harm?

Gambling doesn’t result in any physical harm per se. However, pathological gambling involving spending many hours betting or thinking about betting can cause issues. The best online gambling websites have various measures to help players take control, but it’s upon the individual to gamble responsibly.

When a person develops a gambling addiction, they may become depressed, stressed, or anxious. These psychological effects can deprive you of sleep, resulting in physical symptoms like dark eye circles, pale skin, and weight loss or weight gain. If the problem is not fixed, you may suffer more effects like anger and self-harm.

People who develop a gambling problem may also turn to drugs and alcohol as an outlet for frustration. The mental and emotional distress only worsens once a person is fully immersed in compulsive gambling. At its worst, pathological gambling can result in massive financial losses, addiction, and suicidal thoughts.

Responsible Gambling vs. Pathological Gambling

Many punters enjoy sports betting and casino gambling without ever developing a problem. When done responsibly, gambling can be a source of excitement and an opportunity to socialize with friends and family. People like to bet on nearly everything, and controlled gambling shouldn’t present any issues.

Pathological, compulsive, or problem gambling is the opposite of responsible gambling. When someone has a gambling problem, they cannot control their habit. Pathological gambling involves betting more than you intend, borrowing money to bet, stealing or selling items to bet, and neglecting responsibilities for the sake of betting.

Responsible gamblers have a betting budget and treat the experience as entertainment. They know when to walk away and don’t need to go through much trouble or forsake their mental well-being to gamble. Responsible gamblers also use legitimate websites and don’t get carried away by winning or losing. 

How Do I Know I Have A Gambling Problem?

The signs of a gambling problem can be subtle and sometimes go unnoticed for an extended period. However, you should be concerned when you gamble with money meant for food, rent, clothing, or other necessities. Another key sign is the inability to control your gambling or spending habits. Here are other telltale signs of a gambling problem:

  • Being overly secretive about your gambling 
  • Friends and family members expressing concerns over your gambling habits
  • Financial problems and legal troubles linked to your gambling 
  • Having trouble concentrating at work or sleeping because of gambling
  • Drinking or smoking too much when you gamble

The Bottom Line: Does Gambling Harm You Physically?

Gambling doesn’t harm you physically but can potentially harm you psychologically, resulting in physical consequences. If you gamble responsibly, there shouldn’t be a problem. As such, you should keep tabs on your gambling patterns to avoid falling into the trap of chasing losses. Gambling should be taken as a pastime that results in having fun, unwinding, or socializing with friends.

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