In the UK, there are a reported 340,000 disordered gamblers with a further 2 million classed as ‘at risk’. Source: Gambling Commission 2016
In 2013, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was updated to change a gambling disorder from a compulsion to an addiction.
But a Gambling Disorder does not only affect one person, it’s likely to affect those closest to the individual too; friends, family, colleagues and employers.
Understanding a Gambling Disorder?
Inside our brain with have a reward system, when we have rewarding experiences such as accomplishing a task, scoring a goal, receiving a compliment or even having sex our brain sends a chemical message to our reward system.
These chemical messages are known as dopmaine, when enough dopmaine is released we experience pleasure and feel motivated to do that activity again.
Research and studies suggest that the level of dopmaine released when gambling, is up to 10 times more than a natural experience would generate.
Impact on Mental Health?
Gambling is often used a coping strategy, which can end up having a devastating affect on an individuals mental health. Symptoms can include a loss of interest, depression, anxiety, stress and suicidal thoughts.