Here Are Some Causes of a Gambling Addiction

What are some of the causes of a gambling addiction? As a former gambler and mental health counselor, I have done a lot of research on why people develop a gambling problem. What I have found is that there is more than one cause of gambling addiction and that although it is important to know the cause, the solution is much more important.

Here are some of the many causes of gambling addiction:

o Gambling is exciting while the gambler is in action. The adrenaline high feels good, and it is quite easy to become addicted to these “feel good” chemicals in our brain.
o Gambling compulsively may fill a void for many people with a gambling problem. This void could be in many areas of one’s life. Poor social life, loneliness, job dissatisfaction, empty-nest syndrome, boredom, and lack of purpose can all contribute to a gambling addiction.
o A big win at the casino is the worst possible event for anyone with a propensity for addiction. The adrenaline high of a huge jackpot can fuel future addiction like jet fuel in a plane. Most, if not all people give back the winnings from their jackpot, plus much more money as well.
o Escape from emotional pain and psychological distress can also fuel a gambling disorder. This is especially true for “escape gamblers” who mostly play slot machines, lottery, or partake in online internet gambling.
o For “action gamblers”, the craving for action and feeling very important to others can fuel a gambling addiction. Action gamblers are mostly male and are usually sports betters, poker players, and racetrack gamblers.
o The thrill of “easy money” can fuel a gambling addiction, especially if the gambling addict has a long string of wins at the beginning of his or her gambling career.
o People with anxiety and/or depression have show a strong propensity for gambling problem as well as other addictions.
o People with first degree relatives with a gambling addiction have a stronger propensity to develop this addiction themselves.

These are just some of the general causes of a gambling problem, however, there are many more as well. In addition, each unique individual will have different reasons for having a problem with gambling, and no two situations are the same.

The most important thing, however, is that once some of the causes of a gambling problem are established, that the individual seeks immediate help for his or her problem.

The solutions, which include abstinence from gambling, professional help, and support groups, self-care, and lifestyle changes are most important in reclaiming ones’ life from a gambling addiction.

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Gambling Addiction and Its Behavioral Effects

Gambling addiction is a serious mental health disorder, which can be identified in two ways: a person either a) continuously bet on things using money or objects that hold value even though negative consequences arise as a result, or, b) they cannot stop gambling even if they desired to. People suffering from gambling addiction often display a strong urge to bet on a wide-range of gambling mediums-from sports games to poker, to choosing lottery numbers and throwing dice. And although friends and family members of compulsive gamblers don’t see the symptoms physically, like they often do with alcoholics or drug abusers, the consequences gambling addiction has serious implications on their lives as well as the lives of their friends and families. Not realizing its severity or taking it too lightly can be devastating for the addicted gambler in the long run. Gamblers can reach a point of literally losing everything, from cars, to homes, to businesses, and even respect from those they care about.

It’s well-known that Florida is notorious for providing “the hotspot” for gamblers all over the world, as well as its residents. But how many gamblers actually endure financial problems? A recent survey by the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling shed light on card playing, reporting that 70% of these people had trouble paying their bills. But here’s the worst part, which is known to be a side-effect of excessive gambling–1 in 3 of these card players admitted to having participated in illicit activities in order to finance their gambling. Playing cards isn’t as harmless as we thought; criminal activity is still a cause for concern.

Gambling addicts are not always obvious about their situation; sometimes they don’t even realize it themselves. They don’t dwell on what has been lost as a result of their destructive activities and behaviors. Instead, compulsive gamblers only focus on the gains, or the supposed investment aspect of the games they play. And unlike drug or alcohol addiction, a person addicted to gambling will not display symptoms such as heavy fatigue, sickness, loss of energy or dizziness; instead, other factors are apparent, such as falling into deep financial trouble, losing quality time with the ones they love, and heightening the chances of entering into drug or alcohol addiction.

It’s difficult to establish who has a gambling problem and who doesn’t. Where is the threshold between social gamblers, and abusive gamblers? Are there any red flags? The answer is yes. Pathological gamblers often display one or more of the following signs: negligent of family get-togethers, acts on criminal behavior in order to acquire more stuff to bet on, would rather gamble then hang out with friends, talk excessively about gambling and winning money, use drugs or alcohol to distract them from wanting to gamble more, become irritated when not gambling, neglect vital responsibilities for gambling time, and lying to family and friends about going out gambling. A combination of these signs should be a red flag when identifying a compulsive gambler. But remember, none of these signs mention the amount of times a person gambles in a period of time. It’s not about “quantity.” A person can gamble every day and it may not affect his life. Also, gambling addiction isn’t OK if you’re wealthy; rich gamblers can still have issues like neglecting their loved ones and other vital responsibilities.

Florida is well-known for its casinos, entertainment arenas and cruise ship gambling. But environmental factors such as these may cause people to be more susceptible to the development of gambling addiction. Gambling addiction isn’t a problem that stands alone-it may lead to criminal behavior, psychological distress and depression, and fuel other more dangerous addictions. As stated earlier, a person may fall into drug or alcohol addiction in order to supplement or replace their gambling behavior. The combination of multiple addictions can be devastating and more difficult to treat; it would be like tangling a web of loose strings and trying to unravel them all at once.

Addiction specialists and counselors use a variety of methods in treating gambling addiction effectively, including: helping the addict understand what drives him or her to gamble, replacing their betting habits with more productive activities, understanding how it affects the people they care about, and finally, strengthening one’s will to live a more productive lifestyle. If you notice warning signs that you or your loved one is suffering from gambling addiction, it is crucial to intervene and find treatment before it is too late. Doctors treat gambling addiction as a serious brain disease, and people suffering from it are also prone to drug addiction. The importance of acquiring immediate treatment can be the difference between losing everything, and saving someone’s life.

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Gambling Addiction Statistics, Symptoms, And Stories

Compulsive gambling addiction is a type of addiction that has become more and more common due to online gambling websites. People that suffer from a gambling addiction risk their whole lives and are even willing to cheat and steal to continue supporting their habit of gambling. It is a seemingly uncontrollable urge that a person gets to place a bet of some sort without weighing the consequences and negative effects that it may have on their lives or others.

Gambling Addiction Statistics

- According to gambling statistics, approximately 500 billion dollars are spent annually on wagers.

- In the United State, about 2.5 percent of adults are considered problem gamblers

- this type of addiction is most common among white Americans.

- it is commonly associated with alcoholism

- People with this addiction are more prone to diseases such as depression and mood swing disorder.

- The divorce rate of gambler addicts are more than double that of a non-gambler.

Gambling Addict Symptoms

One of the most prominent warning symptoms of this addiction is fixation. If you hear someone constantly bring up the casinos or ways to get money to go to the casino on a consistent basis then you are probably looking at someone that has or may develop a serious gambling problem. People with gambling problems are fixated and are always planning their next excursion.

Another indicator of someone having a gambling problem is if they seem to be increasing the wagers they place on a regular basis. Gambling is like a drug for a compulsive gambler. They start off with a small amount, then increase the dosage.

Lying and alienation from family and friends is another sign that someone may have a gambling issue. A lot of people with a gambling problems know that they have a problem and feel guilty about it. It is because of this that they feel the need to lie about their whereabouts to family and friends. They may also lie about the amount that they gamble.

Alienation from family and friends is a huge sign that their gambling problem has developed into a full-blown gambling addiction. Once someone starts doing this,you know that gambling is consuming their lives. If it gets to this point, they are in danger of destroying their lives and the lives of those around them. Someone at this level should definitely seek gambling addiction counseling.

Gambling Stories

Many people out there end up completely destroying their lives by falling victim to this addiction. A lot of times they find themselves in denial and when they don’t have the funds and aren’t able to get them, to support their habit, they turn to extreme measures, such as lying and thievery. If they aren’t able to get the funds they need that way or if they aren’t willing to take this route, they become irritable, angry, depressed, and sometimes suicidal.

There is a lot of addiction information on the internet. It is important to educate yourself on this addiction if you feel that you or someone you love may be gambling problems.

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