Yes, gambling can be good for your mental health

In the 1940s, 2000 pinball machines were seized and destroyed by New York City Police on the orders of the mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, the start of a widespread ban that would last until the 1970s. Shortly after, when the first video arcades became popular, they too were stigmatized like haunts of young criminals who stole the souls of American children with their addictive allure. In the 90s it was Mortal combat and Loss, the latter being considered by some to be responsible for Columbine Massacre.

Parents in the 21st century are generally less afraid of video games turning their kids into soulless zombies (it’s more of a Facebook thing). The big stigma today is the more pervasive “screen time”. And, while it’s important for anyone to have a balance in their life between the screen – which can include school, homework, a job, shopping, socializing, and entertainment – and IRL activities, putting extreme limits on gambling can actually damage a young person’s life. health.

Or at least, it may prevent them from enjoying the benefits of gambling, especially if they are living with anxiety, depression, or ADHD.

Greden Camacho, gamer, multimedia personality and founder of Official ChiKa Gaming, moderated the “Get Ya Mind Right” panel at The Fall Brawl of Futures First Gaming in September. During the panel, she shared her own journey from a little girl playing video games with her father to a career in health care to a professional career in the gaming industry, as well as how the game helped her.

The other four panelists gave more advice to players and player parents than we can cover – but we’ll give you some of the main takeaways. Here are five reasons why gambling is good for your mental health:

1. Gambling can be an emotional regulator.

“I have a 9 year old with ADHD,” said panelist Terri gentry, a Delaware mental health practitioner. “The game slows him down and helps him be more controlled.” Playing games can trigger rage, she notes, something that can be used as a good time to learn.

“I took the game from him for three weeks [after he damaged a screen during play], “she said. After that, however, she said it didn’t happen again, and when it seemed like he was getting frustrated, the incident was able to be recalled and they were able to talk about it instead of. make it happen again.

Corey King of Training grounds, a Delaware-based esports youth development program that focuses on mental health, sees something similar with the competitive players it coaches: “Learning to be an esports athlete means learning to know when you need to. withdraw, ”he said.

2. Social circles are built on gaming platforms.

It may seem like your child is spending their time playing on their own, avoiding friendships. But gambling is social, and these relationships can help players get through tough times.

“Every time I had a bad day I would tell the people I play with and we would talk about it,” Camacho said. “They were like, ‘OK, ChiKa, let’s make it better’. Especially during COVID, it can be difficult to have these kinds of social interactions [IRL]. “

3. It builds self-esteem.

Natasha Saint-Amand GURLS (Girls shamelessly reach levels successfully) The course includes a section on gambling, as young women are often told or conveyed that gambling is only for boys.

In most cohorts, said the “etiquette therapist” who goes through Natasha Paris, the majority of the girls were already gamers – and upon learning that their classmates had also developed camaraderie and made them all feel like they were allowed to be gamers (or whatever they are told that they are they cannot do).

4. It can promote the parent-child bond.

Camacho says gambling is part of the reason she has a close relationship with her parents, who supported her in her decision to turn to a playing career in her mid-20s.

“In high school, I didn’t care about prom. My parents could have made me put on a dress and take pictures, but instead I stayed home and played [Call of Duty] Covert operations with my father, she said. “He is in the army and is often gone. He didn’t do my high school diploma. So instead of “Remember when you came to my graduation”, it’s “Do you remember that time we fought together? “

5. It can help with self-realization.

Games that include the ability to create a character design allow for self-actualization in the game, said Dr John Drodz of Guerrier GMR Foundation, an organization that uses play as a wellness tool for veterans. This is something that can be beneficial for mental health therapy.

“You can choose attributes, you can choose qualities, you can choose your style and cultivate it,” he said. “This can be a basis for working with [their therapists]. “

You can watch the full panel here:

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