words Al Woods
More than 2 million people in the UK have a gambling addiction or are at risk of becoming addicted, which has increased by a third in just three years. Gambling becomes classified as an addiction when the person has difficulty limiting time and/or money on gambling that leads to adverse consequences.
Online bingo is often dismissed as a form of gambling addiction as it’s so easily accessed and isn’t considered as addictive as other forms of gambling. A bingo addiction can be detrimental to a person’s health just as much as any other addiction can and can cause havoc in the person’s life and affect their loved ones.
Psychological Health Impacts
The biggest health effects of a bingo addiction are psychological, but these can lead to physical symptoms too. A lot of bingo playing occurs at night, leading to a lack of sleep, which can cause many other physical and psychological problems. Addictions are often secretive and surrounded by guilt and this can cause low self-esteem and depression as you feel you’re letting people down. Spending money you can’t afford to can also cause a lot of anxiety around your finances and how you’re going to play bills, but also how you’re going to keep funding your bingo addiction.
The Risk Of Suicide
A study the UK Gambling Commission in 2018 found a link between gambling addiction and a reduction in physical activity, poor diet and poor wellbeing. Combined with the social isolation that can come with an addiction this can lead to an increased risk of suicide, which is already prevalent in gambling addicts. Many studies have found a strong link between suicide and suicidal thoughts in gambling addicts and pathological gamblers have been found to have higher rates of suicide than any other addictive disorder. This shows that bingo addictions need to be taken seriously, especially in the digital age where it is so easily accessed.
Breaking The Cycle
The NHS reported that only 5% of people with a gambling addiction seek help and only 1% receive it. It can be very difficult to accept that you have a problem, but it’s the first step in recovery. Switching from gambling which costs you to play to free online bingo games will end finance problems. This can be a big relief for yourself and your family who are directly impacted by your addiction and it’s a positive way to move forward. Free games provides the same buzz without the risks.
Many people choose to go cold turkey on their addiction, with more than 1 million requests to operators to close their online accounts, but there are endless other ways to continue your bingo addiction, such as other websites, playing in bingo halls and apps on phones. This means it’s not the best approach for many people and isn’t effective in ending the cycle.
Bingo is a form of gambling addiction that needs to be taken as seriously as other forms of gambling addiction. While it can be a harmless activity and a way of socialising for many, for others it can quickly spiral into spending money they don’t have and lying to loved ones to keep enabling their addiction. Playing free online bingo is a good way to save your finances and this can help to break the addiction cycle as many keep playing in the hope of replenishing the money they gambled.