What Causes Gambling Addiction?

Although there is no singular source to gambling addiction, like many addictions they can stem from contributing factors such as:

  • Introduction to gambling at a young age
  • Family members with dependency or addiction to gambling
  • Peer pressure
  • Personality factors such as: highly competitive, risk taker, impulsive, or restless
  • Co-occurring addiction to other substances, video games, and others.

How Can Gambling Impact Mental Health?

Gambling addiction, like many addictions, can impact mental health through low self-esteem, confidence, depression, anxiety, stress, or financial insecurity. Gambling can alter hormonal releases, particularly around dopamine release, which leads to feeling an influx of reward or “happiness” hormone anytime you are gambling. These feelings of pleasure aid in making the desire to gamble feel compulsive or out of control. Over time it may be challenging to feel pleasure doing other activities outside of gambling, which creates a negative cycle of dependency on gambling to feel pleasure or satisfaction

Getting Help With Gambling Dependency?

Often reaching the point of financial crisis or scarcity results in an individual’s initial search for support with gambling. Accruing debt, selling valuable property, or making financial cuts to sustain a gambling addiction can be common, leaving individuals fear and anxiety present regarding finances. 

Speaking with a mental health professional that can implement clinical sound treatment models of therapy for gambling addiction such as: 

Group therapy or support groups in your area can also be an incredible resources for building a support network. 

Remember, gambling addiction can look different for everyone, so it’s important to work with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized plan for managing your symptoms and improving your quality of life.

Other Resources and Information

  • Call the 24/7 National Helpline @ 1-800-GAMBLER or text 1-800-522-4700
  • Gamblers Anonymous – local 12-step meetings for accountability and support with gambling