Science / Health

Mental Health, and Substance Abuse: The Connection You Need to Know About

Mental Health, and Substance Abuse The Connection You Need to Know About

Gambling is a serious addiction that can lead to severe consequences, and it’s important to understand what causes it.

Gambling is not just an entertainment activity; it’s also a way of coping with stress, anxiety, or depression.

Some people may come out of this cycle when they win and be able to stop gambling for good. But for others, the problem can develop into an addiction that requires professional help from a mental health specialist—and even then, it isn’t easy to overcome!

How is gambling an addiction?

People can become addicted to gambling for the same reasons they become addicted to drugs—dopamine. When risk is involved, the brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that boosts your mood. Around 10 million people in the United States live with a gambling addiction!

The signs and symptoms of gambling addiction include:

  • An increasing need to gamble with more money than you can afford to lose
  • Inability to stop gambling once you start
  • A need for greater amounts of money in order to satisfy an urge or craving for gambling
  • Turning down invitations from friends or family members because they interfere with your desire or ability to gamble
  • Borrowing money
  • Endangering your job, relationships, or opportunities due to gambling

How does it affect your physical health?

Gambling can also have a negative effect on your physical health. Studies have shown that people who gamble frequently are at increased risk of developing stress-related conditions:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Peptic ulcer disease

The reasons for these risks are unclear, but likely include the lifestyle changes that often accompany gambling addiction as well as the mental health issues it causes. Risks increase when gambling addictions coincide with other substance use disorders like alcoholism.

How does it affect your mental health?

Gambling addiction is a mental health problem. It can be caused by a combination of factors, including genetics and environmental influences.

Repeated losses through gambling can change your brain chemistry and cause psychological strain adding to feelings of depression and anxiety.

When you’re addicted to gambling, you may experience cravings for gambling that make it difficult for you to stop. These cravings are sometimes so strong that your brain creates false memories about past events in order to justify your actions.

Gambling addicts often suffer from other mental health disorders as well—the most common being anxiety disorders such as panic disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

In fact, research shows that up to 60 percent of those who suffer from gambling disorder also have an anxiety disorder! Anxiety disorders are characterized by feelings of fear or unease that interfere with daily life activities such as sleep or work performance; severe cases can even lead to suicide attempts.

How does it affect the people close to you?

There are many ways that a gambling addict can affect their family and friends. The social consequences of a gambling addiction can be enormous.

  • They may be aggressive, irritable, and irrational.
  • They could become violent or suicidal.
  • They might become obsessed with gambling, neglecting their family and friends in the process.
  • Legal troubles
  • Loss of productivity
  • Emotional neglect and feelings of abandonment

What are the similarities with other addictions?

Research has suggested a high correlation between gambling addictions and substance use disorders. This can be because the underlying mental health disorders that often lead to substance use disorders can also support an addiction to gambling. Alcohol addiction is the most frequent co-occurring condition.

Gambling can be compared to other addictions because it affects your brain in the same way as an addictive substance would: by altering its chemical composition and structure over time. This can cause changes in cognition (the ability to understand), motor skills (the ability to move), and memory function (the ability to remember).

How can you help someone in need of help?

A lot of people aren’t aware that gambling, mental health, and substance abuse go hand-in-hand. If you know someone who is struggling with any of these issues, here’s how you can help:

  • Talk about it. There are many misconceptions about addiction and what it means to be an addict, so asking questions and being open to the answers will help you better understand the situation.
  • Seek professional help. Addiction isn’t something that can be fixed overnight; it takes time and dedication on both ends for someone suffering to have a shot at recovery. Some people learn better by seeing examples firsthand rather than reading up on them, so showing support by seeking counseling along with your loved one can make all the difference! Learn more about Ascendant rehab centers and get your loved one the help they need.
  • Be a good listener! The most important thing when trying to support someone in need is making sure they feel comfortable talking about their feelings or struggles openly without fear of judgment or being judged themselves; this means listening patiently without passing judgment yourself.”

Gambling is a serious addiction that requires professional help to overcome.

Gambling is a serious addiction that requires professional help to overcome.

Many people with gambling addiction require help from a professional, such as their doctor or mental health counselor.

Therapists can help patients identify the underlying causes behind their behavior and develop strategies for overcoming them.

If you’re trying to treat your gambling addiction yourself without any outside assistance, it’s important that you know what signs of withdrawal to look out for so that you can seek professional treatment immediately if necessary.


Gambling addiction is a serious problem that can have devastating consequences. Whether you are a gambler or someone who has been affected by your loved one’s problem with gambling, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms so that you can get help for them if needed.

Remember: there is no shame in seeking treatment for yourself or others; only pride in being part of the solution!

About author

Carl Herman is an editor at DataFileHost enjoys writing about the latest Tech trends around the globe.