How to Stop Problem Gambling


Problem gambling is an impulse control disorder and a common behavior characterized by high risk and reward. It can negatively affect an individual’s mood and relationships. Learn about the symptoms and signs of problem gambling to help prevent it from taking over your life. To help you stop, here are a few steps to follow:

Problem gambling is a common impulse control disorder

While the American Psychiatric Association, or APA, no longer lists gambling as an impulse control disorder, it still affects up to 4 percent of the population. Pathological gambling is characterized by intense urges to gamble and the inability to control them. The compulsion to gamble can be so overwhelming and intrusive that it becomes nearly impossible to ignore, and the only way to get relief from it is to gamble.

It is a risky activity

Whether you’re gambling for fun or for financial gain, gambling is an activity that carries risk. While some forms of gambling are completely legal, others are considered high-risk speculative investments. Whether you’re playing for fun or profit, there are several factors that you should consider before engaging in any gambling activity. Even if you can’t completely rule out gambling, you should still set a budget and stick to it.

It is a reward-seeking behaviour

The APA based its decision on recent studies that found a link between gambling and drug addiction. The reward system links scattered brain regions. A person who engages in gambling experiences a greater feeling of control over the outcome than an individual who never gambles. Furthermore, people who gamble may have less than average euphoria levels. For this reason, they may be prone to gambling addiction.

It affects mood

In some people, the act of gambling increases risk taking and can even affect their mood. People with gambling problems tend to be more risky and are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as debts, secrecy, and arguments. They may also experience a low mood setpoint, which makes their daily activities dull and unproductive. While gambling is a fun activity, it can also turn into a dangerous habit.

It can lead to thoughts of suicide

The links between problem gambling and thoughts of suicide are often unclear. However, those struggling with gambling may be more prone to suicidal thoughts than those recovering from a substance use disorder. These individuals often carry huge financial debt, which is a reminder of the negative effects of gambling and contributes to their thoughts of suicide. Because these debts can be life-long, they may find it difficult to cope. They may feel that suicide is the only option.