Is gambling addiction a dangerous addiction or innocent entertainment?
With the development of gambling entertainment on the Internet, many temptations have appeared that attract instant enrichment or other alluring illusions. Online casinos now have virtual slot machines on various topics, poker tables and roulettes, which you can sit at without leaving your home. Many users look at such games as one of the ways to relieve stress, but without noticing it, they become hostages of their own situation.
- Gamescom, the world’s largest trade fair for interactive entertainment, video games and computer games, Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Europe
What are the dependencies?
Dependencies are divided into two main categories – chemical and non-chemical. If the first one deals with serious problems with drugs, alcohol and substance abuse, then the second option affects psychological addictions. They can be divided into a small list:
- food grade.
The proliferation of some of these addictions poses a serious threat to modern society.
What are gambling and gambling addiction?
Gambling addiction is a pathological addiction to gambling, manifested in constant gaming sessions that take up most of a person’s time, reducing his professional, material and social values.
Types of gambling
The range of modern online casinos boasts a variety of entertainment options: slot machines, roulettes, poker, blackjack, bingo, bingo, sports betting and much more. Games differ in format, difficulty level and risk. In some entertainment, the outcome depends solely on luck, in others, the result is determined by the user’s skill.
Myths & Facts About Gambling Problems
One of the most common myths is that gambling is just a financial problem. Most often, representatives of the middle-class play gambling, and the amount spent can be completely different. A difficult financial situation can also be an excuse to succumb to temptation, but the emergence of money will not solve this problem in any way.
Signs and symptoms of gambling addiction
Exhausting gaming sessions have consequences that are manifested in the pallor of the skin. The person becomes taciturn, fussy and most often irritable. In advanced stages, the sleep regime is disrupted, the player begins to control the entire family budget, hide his income and borrow money from friends.
How gambling affects the brain
Slot machines and various casino bonuses affect human the brain, in the form of dopamine, which is the chemical responsible for pleasure. When a person receives a certain reward, the amount of dopamine increases significantly and he feels more satisfied. It is with the help of this leverage that the gambling industry attracts players to its community, offering various bonuses, free spins, incentives and games with new features.
Consequences of gambling addiction
Addiction leads to an overload of the nervous system, a person’s mood and well-being deteriorate. He becomes more anxious and not adapted to the social environment. Even worse, the patient may fall into a deep depression, lose the meaning of life, often such things can lead to suicide attempts. Even realizing all the problems of gambling addiction, a person cannot refuse it, continues to gamble, replacing the real world with an illusory veil.
In gambling, triggers can be divided into two main categories.
- At first, the person is manipulated by external elements: bright banners, buttons, advertisements and intrusive notifications.
- Next, when a person has already started playing, they are stimulated with rewards.
Many doctors believe that gambling addiction eventually leads to a pathological condition comparable to drug addiction. To prevent this, you need to identify the symptoms in time and consult a specialist. Most often, this can be determined by external factors:
- remorse (admission of guilt);
- avoiding any duty.
During the formation of gambling addiction, signs of personality appear. any and emotional disorders. The person becomes irresponsible, deceitful.
The predisposition to gambling addiction depends on various factors. The problem may be hidden in the wrong upbringing in the family, the overestimation of material values, an increased emphasis on financial opportunities. Even an innocent prank in childhood (lotto, dominoes, cards) can become a defining condition in the development of addiction. American researchers cite frequent depression and lack of marital status as risk factors.
Complications from gambling
The development of gambling addiction can be divided into four stages. At the first level, there are no consequences, but already at the second level, complications appear in various areas of life: problems in family life, health problems, stress and constant anxiety. In the third stage, pronounced negative consequences appear. This is followed by a severe form of addiction, accompanied by constant stress and panic.
Prevention of gambling addiction
You should control the presence of slot machines and online casinos in your life. If you are playing, then do not lose more than 5% of your monthly income. Do not try to act out or make important decisions under the influx of emotions. The best way to cope with a gambling addiction will help relatives and friends. Blocking the influx of gambling interest is the key to the successful prevention of gambling addiction.
Self-help for gambling problems
To cope alone with gambling addiction is quite difficult. Try to be disciplined about your entertainment, without exceeding your daily quota of hours or money for playing. To diversify your day and get away from obsessive thoughts, you can find a useful hobby, go in for sports or self-development, thereby channelling your energy in a different direction.
Prevalence of Gambling Addiction: How Common?
According to statistics, only in the United States from 0.5 to 1.5% of the adult population suffers from gambling addiction. The National Association for Problems of Gambling notes that any inhabitant of the planet has a 48% chance of becoming a gambling addict. Today, this is no longer just a bad habit, but a serious clinical disease that requires a fight in the early stages. It is like a tumour that grows into something dangerous over time.
Is gambling addiction a problem for me?
Gambling addiction is not a problem for me. I play slot machines in online casinos, as well as bet on sports and e-sports events, in full control of my budget. When I gamble, I’m never driven by emotion. My family knows about all my hobbies.
How can I stop gambling?
You need to start with the simplest things. First of all, delete all existing online casino accounts. Exactly delete, not block, because when the breakdown begins, you will remember all the passwords. You can put parental control and block access to all gaming sites. Next, find another hobby to distract yourself from obsessive thoughts. If things are not going well, seek help from family or professionals.
Where should I go next?
Specialists working in rehabilitation centres can help to cope with gambling addiction. Treatment is divided into therapeutic and rehabilitation courses. More information can be found on the Internet at your place of residence. If you have some questions – contact us.