Navigating the Maze of Gambling Addiction and Mental Health

August 10, 2023 Kevin Anyango

As I share the twists and turns of my descent into a gambling addiction and my mental health recovery journey, I am reminded of the mental turmoil I went through and how intrinsically connected mental wellbeing is to addiction.

Besides holding my financial life hostage, gambling addiction wormed its way into my mental health. The once temporary escape from reality turned into a dangerous dependency that would grip my life in ways I never thought possible. As my financial losses piled up and the distance between me and my loved ones grew wider, so did the weight on my shoulders and the toll on my mental wellbeing.

It is easy to ignore the subtle shift. Still, once crippling anxiety became a constant companion, especially in the face of mounting debt and the shame and guilt of hiding my gambling addiction, I lost my sense of self. As I spiraled deeper into self-destruction, my struggles with depression grew, giving way to a vicious cycle ā€“ gambling by day to escape the mental turmoil and picking shame and guilt up at the door right after to accompany me into the depressive hole Iā€™d dug myself.

A Changing Tide from Gambling Addiction to Mental Wellbeing

When my healing journey began, I was so deep in denial that I could only point out my gambling addiction. But acknowledging the effects of gambling addiction on my life was pivotal in my recovery journey. With a lot of support from loved ones, professional therapy, and counseling, my path to recovery has become easier to navigate. My healing journey has helped untangle the complex web of addiction and its impact on mental health.

Most importantly, recovery has helped me confront the underlying emotional and mental triggers that fueled my gambling addiction. From feelings of being less than others, I have embraced healthy coping mechanisms and strategies to manage my mental wellbeing without resorting to gambling.

As I revel in the positive changes in my life so far, I can see how getting tangled in gambling addiction affected my mental health and how my declining mental health fueled my addiction. By rebuilding my self-esteem and the relationships I had lost during my addiction, I couldn't help but celebrate every small victory in my journey.

While looking at helping someone or pulling yourself out of a gambling addiction, it is important to remember that recovery is not linear. Remember to look at the full picture and see what other areas of life have been affected by the addiction or mental health struggles. By addressing both, the path to healing and renewal becomes clearer.

APA Reference
Anyango, K. (2023, August 10). Navigating the Maze of Gambling Addiction and Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Kevin Anyango

Kevin Anyango likes to say, "I am still me, no matter my mental health." Find Kevin on Twitter

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