Gambling is a serious problem with many people. Expolre this article to know more about this addiction.

Compulsive Gambling

Do you sometimes find yourself frequenting thoughts about gambling? Do you feel a loss of control when it comes to gambling? Do you often lie to family and friends in order to hide the extent of your gambling? If so, you may have a problem. The addiction to gambling is a serious predicament and as with all addictions it is difficult to point out when you have it. Gambling, when it starts off is harmless, but when coupled with stress it can morph into an addiction. The main reason why so many are addicted to gambling is because it provides a sense of excitement and adventure. The gamble for a few extra bucks steadily becomes a pursuit of thrill. Anyone can fall prey to this kind of addiction; people who gamble at an early age, people who are depressed, restless, and highly competitive, and those who are surrounded by gamblers or casinos are more prone to having a gambling problem. Gender also plays an important role. Men are more likely to have this problem than women, but women who do gamble get addicted faster.

Symptoms, Consequences, Causes and Treatment Of Compulsive Gambling

  • Constant borrowing of money to fuel your habit. In severe cases, it may lead to stealing.
  • Skipping out on work and family to make more time for gambling.
  • Constant thoughts about gambling.
  • Taking larger risks when it comes to gambling.
  • Sense of thrill when gambling.
  • Feeling the need to hide your habit from friends and family. 
Needless to say, an addiction to gambling can have a lasting impact on one’s life. Constant betting can and will lead to serious financial problems and can even end in bankruptcy. Having a social stigma attached to the addiction makes one less trustworthy in terms of responsibility; this in turn would lead to loss of jobs and even estrangement from family and friends. Along with an addiction, come other vices such as alcohol and drug abuse. With all this pressure, suicide seems to be the only way out. That explains why gambling hubs like Vegas and Atlantic City have a high rate of suicides.

If gambling leads to such problems, then the question that arises is, why gamble? Scientists say that addiction is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. The brain secretes dopamine which makes you seek pleasure, this along with a hormone called norepinephrine, a response to stress that increases arousal and risk- taking, form the perfect recipe for an addiction. Sometimes an injury to the brain or certain kinds of medication may cause an alteration in thinking where decision making and processing information is damaged.

If you find yourself falling prey to this addiction, your best bet would be to get help. There are three main approaches to the treatment you can get. Using medication such as anti-depressants and mood stabilizers can help cope with the emotional issues linked to compulsive gambling. Behavior therapy can make a huge difference to a compulsive gambler. In cognitive behavior therapy, negative and unhealthy aspects are replaced by more positive and healthy ones. Enrolling into a self help group is also another way to deal with the addiction. This way, you are able to seek advice and support from people suffering from similar issues.

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