Regret: Gambling with Emotional Health?

Commentary on the effects of regret.

Sometime people do things that they know are wrong and they regret it. Sometime people do the same things over and over again, repeating both the wrong action and the regret. Is it possible to be addicted to regret? Can regret be a form of gambling?


Believing that things happen for a reason is one way to placate regret. Why things happen is another story and a lot more complicated. When someone does something negative and reap negative consequences, it would be logical to think that there wouldn’t be a second occurrence. Ironically, repeat offenders of wrongdoing are no rarity. No one thing can pinpoint the logistics of why negative consequences tend to encourage repeat offenders. A convict who is in and out of jail is considered a repeat offender, because the consequences are the same; do the crime, do the time. A battered woman who escapes a violent relationship will sometimes end up in another or the same negative relationship. A gambler who wins will sometimes risk all the winnings and more seeking an even bigger win. A drug addict will hit rock bottom repeatedly without intervention.  Unfortunately, regret sometimes works the same way.


Regret is a negative emotion and can be defined as emotional distress. Regret makes people feel bad about a negative action that leads to negative consequences. People may want and try to change negative consequences and may even vow to do things differently if given another opportunity. However, circumstances may dictate otherwise. Despite how overwhelming regret can be some people experience regret on a regular basis. Regret on a regular basis leads to long-term regret which may jeopardize emotional stability. Jeopardizing ones emotional stability suggests gambling with ones emotional health and well-being. Long-term regret may also imply that there is a bigger problem.


Regret may signify that there is something psychologically amiss. The consequences of a negative action should teach us to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. We should not habitually regret something just long enough for a crisis to pass and then go back to doing the same negative things again. We should avoid experiencing the same negative results and repeated regret. If we cannot avoid repeating negative consequences, we may be gambling with our emotions and experiencing something deeper and more dangerous than regret and remorse.



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  1. Very good job…nice work.

  2. I like your article – it seems regret in itself is not enough to change a negative behaviour and in fact may lower your self esteem, perpetuating the viscious circle

  3. I agree with you. We really should make changes when we continue to do things that cause regret. It can be a life cycle otherwise.

  4. I thought this was actually going to be about gambling haha, I don’t believe everything happens for a reason as much I would love to as it would explain a HELL of alot, but hey im an atheist so I cant pick and choose what i do and dont believe in.

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