Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.

Gambling with Your Life

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Nov 7, 2012 6:44 PM

Why do casinos allow smoking? Is it because people who risk their money are more likely to risk their health, too? There is, indeed, a tendency to take risks or not across the board. People with a drug history often have an alcohol and/or eating disorder history, too. Overeaters risk or have diabetes, heart disease, cancer, sleep apnea, joint and back pain and more but may or may not take other risks. Smokers are huge risk-takers and as addicted as heroin users in a socially-more acceptable way. The mentally healthiest, strongest and most responsible addicts of all kinds make the commitment to recover and do whatever it takes, as painful as it is. It's worth it.

Some people chose their risks carefully, picking some and avoiding others Driving fast, riding a motorcycle without a helmet, taking a chance in a relationship with a known loser (like an abuser, an addict or a criminal) are such common risks that they don't even earn a lot of criticism. Borrowing too much money, playing dangerous sports, unprotected sex, traveling to war-torn countries may even result in approval or admiration in some sectors. Of course, we take calcutaled risks all the time, like driving on the highway, flying and using credit cards online.

Risk management courses abound in many professions, including mine. The bottom line seems to be figuring out what's worth it and what isn't. In my opinion, something which usually shortens life or ruins its quality isn't worse any amount of temporary pleasure. However, we don't always know ahead how things will work out, like in relationships, so we take the best educated guess possible and observe carefully, as life progresses, figuring it out as we go.

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