If you are unable to control your urge to gamble, then you may be suffering from a gambling problem. Problem gambling can lead to financial ruin and social problems. You can find help through a free Gambling counsellor. These counsellors are available round the clock. Using their services is free and confidential. You can also find support on a Gambling forum, where others share their experiences and provide guidance. There are many ways to stop gambling and improve your overall health.

Problem gambling is a mental health issue

Problem gambling is a common mental health concern, affecting up to 2 million adults in the United States. It is associated with a wide range of additional problems, including depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Problem gambling is often co-occurring with other disorders, and 96% of those diagnosed with problem gambling also meet criteria for a separate mental illness. Problem gambling is associated with the highest rate of suicide among addictive disorders; nearly one in five people with the disorder attempt suicide. The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates that gambling leads to $7 billion in social costs in the U.S. each year, which include lost jobs, criminal justice involvement, and healthcare expenditures.

People with gambling addictions are at risk for other mental health disorders. They are likely to have a pre-existing condition such as anxiety or depression, which could have triggered their behavior. Other problems, such as stress from relationships or financial hardships, may have triggered the problem. In severe cases, gambling can even lead to thoughts of suicide. In either case, it’s critical to seek help as soon as possible.

It can lead to financial ruin

A recent landmark study of 6.5 million customers of the Lloyds Banking Group showed that people who gambled more money than they were able to afford were at greater risk of debt and financial hardship. These studies also showed that heavier gamblers were more likely to face unemployment and other difficulties. They also increased their risk of debt collectors and payday loans. This type of financial ruin can take a long time, so it is important to seek help early on.

Bankruptcy is the last option, but it should only be considered as a last resort. If you have accumulated significant debts from gambling, bankruptcy will not automatically discharge them. In some extreme cases, the trustee will decide that you accumulated the debt with no intention of paying it back. In any case, bankruptcy will ruin your credit and remain on your report for seven to 10 years. It is not advisable to file for bankruptcy unless you are certain that you cannot pay it back in a timely manner.

It can lead to social problems

There are many negative impacts associated with gambling. Some of these have been seen in the retail and recreational sectors. Small businesses are most affected, as casino expansion increases their costs and decreases their staffing. Other negative impacts can be seen in the economy as a whole, including inflation, shop rents, and operating costs. A national strategy to address gambling harms is necessary in Ireland. However, this will not happen without public debate.

In terms of financial harms, gambling is associated with increased risk of family violence. These effects are more prevalent in disadvantaged areas and among lower socioeconomic groups. Problem gamblers are particularly vulnerable, especially those with psychotic disorders. However, causality between gambling and financial losses is not clear. Other factors, such as ill-health, may have a direct effect on gambling. Poverty can itself lead to problem gambling, and vice versa.