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Gambling and Your Mental Health

14th October 2016

Following World Mental Health Day, Catherine takes a look at the effect that problem gambling can have on your mental health.

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10th October every year as an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of good mental health.

Around 35% of callers to the National Gambling HelpLine each year talk about the effect that their gambling behaviour, or that of a loved one, has on their mental health.

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, problem gamblers are more likely than others to suffer from low self-esteem, develop stress-related disorders, to become anxious, have poor sleep and appetite, to develop a substance misuse problem and to suffer from depression.

It is important to recognise that although some people gamble to escape feelings of depression or other mental health issues, gambling problematically can actually make you feel worse over time. The ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ you experience when gambling can both be enhanced if you’re not in a good head space to start off with.

Likewise, if you are close to someone who is experiencing problems with their gambling behaviour, it can take a toll on you too. If you are worried about the effect that gambling is having on you or someone you care about, talk to us.

The National Gambling HelpLine is available every day from 8am – Midnight on Freephone 0808 8020 133 or via web chat on our NetLine.

If you think counselling could help you find balance and perspective, you can find out more about what we offer here. In the words of one of our recent clients:

“I arrived at GamCare completely paralysed – I was in deep depression and at times I couldn’t even get out of bed. Now, my life is transformed… My wellbeing is so much better, I am more productive and there is hope on the horizon. I have to thank GamCare for helping me take those first few steps to recovery.”

Remember: you are not alone. Reach out and you will find the help you need.