Public Health Approach to Gambling Impact Assessments

Gambling involves placing something of value on the outcome of a random event. It is a popular pastime in many cultures, but some people become addicted. Gambling can be harmful for the gambler, their significant others and the community. A public health approach to gambling impact assessments would include all impacts of gambling, including negative and positive, rather than only concentrating on problem gambling and its costs [32]. This would allow researchers and policymakers to discover the full range of harms associated with gambling, not just the hidden social costs and benefits.

People who have a low income are more vulnerable to developing a gambling disorder. It is also more common in men than women. It is believed that gambling disorder occurs because of genetic predisposition to thrill-seeking behaviour and impulsivity, which can be reinforced by the reward circuits of the brain. Other factors, such as an underactive reward system and environmental influences, can contribute to the development of gambling disorder.

The psychology of gambling focuses on the cognitive and motivational processes involved in gambling. It identifies the warning signs of compulsive gambling, and the psychological and behavioural characteristics that may lead to a gambling addiction. The DSM-IV, the American Psychiatric Association’s official guide to mental disorders, lists 10 warning signs of compulsive gambling; however, the DSM-V, which is currently used by psychologists, has eliminated one of those warning signs (criminal behaviour).

Research shows that gambling does not increase happiness in people who do it often. In fact, people who spend a lot of time gambling are more likely to be depressed and have lower self-esteem. Moreover, gambling can have a negative effect on relationships, family and work life. It is recommended to find other ways to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble and practicing relaxation techniques.

A good thing about gambling is that it teaches us to be more observant and improves our analytical thinking skills. It can also be a useful way to pass the time, particularly when we are bored or have nothing else to do. But, if we are not careful, it can also cause us to lose control of our finances and end up in debt.

It is important to learn how to manage our finances and not give in to the temptation of gambling. Those who struggle with gambling should consider seeking professional help and enrolling in a support group for people with the same problems. In addition, it is vital to set boundaries with your loved ones about money matters, especially if you are the person struggling with this issue. Also, try to avoid blaming your loved ones for their gambling problems. Lastly, if you are a close relative of a problem gambler, reach out for support. Remember that there are a lot of other families who have been through this and you are not alone.