What is a Gambler’s Addiction?
Gambling as a sport has been around for a very long time and probably somewhere in our history is where the habit originated. With some types of gambling games being legalized in certain countries and sports events being declared as matches, gambling has become more widespread and popular than ever before. Gambling can also refer loosely to the practice of gambling as a means of creating wealth or of enjoying entertainment. It may also mean the playing of a game for the purpose of wagering money. Gambling can be of many different types such as bingo, lotteries, slot machines, horse races, online gaming, etc. These days even video gambling has become part of the overall gambling phenomenon.
The major problem with gambling is that it becomes more addictive. The person engages in these acts so that they can feel a certain amount of pleasure, or to numb the pain of pain or frustration. Gambling is not considered to be an addiction since it involves the use money instead of drugs or alcohol. However, gambling can become an addiction when there are repeated acts of gambling with financial loss, no matter how much the loss may initially seem trivial. This makes it easier for the person to lose control and start to lose more money, eventually accumulating a higher level of debt than they had before. When this occurs, then it is possible to have the habit on a continuous basis.
With all of these things being said, it is hard to imagine how gambling may be legal in the United States. Gambling is against the law in most states, so technically gambling may never be legalized in the United States. However, some states have made bets on horse racing and football a way to fund schools or charities. This is legal in most states although the rules may vary slightly from place to place.
It must be stated that most gambling addictions do not happen over night. An addiction begins slowly over time. Most addictions begin during childhood, developing over time as the mind of the addict is reshaped by successful experiences with money. While gambling addiction presents itself as a short term problem, it is often a symptom of deeper issues within the individual. For example, most addicts who become addicted to poker tend to have a problem with depression or anxiety because playing the card game requires so much concentration and skill.
A lot of research has been done on gambling addictions, and many professionals believe that addictions begin in the brain. The reason for this is because gambling behavior is formed through childhood experiences. Although gambling behavior can be unlearned, many people choose to form addictions through progressive degrees of behavior modification. In other words, someone who gambles may start small, gambling occasionally, then may become more exposed to the game through various outlets, then may form a long term addiction due to their constant gambling behavior.
Some of the most common characteristics of gambling addictions include: intense emotional attachments, the need to gamble, poor judgment, changes in work and relationship patterns, and a constant need to gamble. If you feel that you have a gambling addiction or are concerned that you may have a gambling problem, there is help out there. Gamblers Anonymous has a network of support people who can help you with your problems, no matter how severe they are. Treatment centers for gambling addiction exist as well, including marriage and family therapy, medication, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and bioorganic drugs. Gambling addiction is treatable, but it is important that you seek treatment in order to overcome the problem.