Gambling Addiction Guide & 8+ Helpful Tips to Stop
source: Lottery ‘n Go
Psychiatry experts describe addiction as a brain disorder that involves repeating certain actions despite negative consequences on health and well-being. The statistics aren’t encouraging as it indicates that gambling addiction is among the most common addiction forms these days.
The reason behind it is a large number of land-based gaming facilities throughout the world. Additionally, you have numerous online gambling websites offering lottery, betting, and casino games. Although these games can be a fun way to spend leisure time, it is essential to be careful. Here is what you need to know about gambling addiction and how to stop it!
An increase in gambling addiction caused by COVID-19
The pandemic increased the number of gambling and gaming addictions throughout the world. According to experts, the lockdown brings a higher risk of developing a pathological attachment to certain activities, such as gambling.
The major factors for increased risk include social isolation, looking for activities to relax, increased stress levels, and potential monetary concerns. People spend more time at home during a lockdown, and many are alone in isolation for weeks. During that time, they could get “hooked” to online gambling and develop addiction quickly.
What is a gambling addiction?
Gambling addiction is a mental disorder where you cannot control your behavior and stop gambling even when you aware that it affects your health and wellness negatively. Just like a person addicted to substances cannot stop using them, a gambler cannot stop playing. Gambling addiction also shares similarities with impulse-control disorders like kleptomania or pyromania.
According to statistics, only the United Kingdom has around 600,000 gamblers dealing with addiction. The data indicates that more than 2% of players in the United States have a certain type of addiction to gambling. It is a growing problem that shouldn’t be taken lightly. That is why it is crucial to recognize the issue on time and take the required steps to deal with it.
What are the main gambling addiction types?
Scientists recognize three different gambling addiction types, and not all of them manifest the same symptoms.
Here is an overview of the most common addiction types:
• A compulsive gambler – a person who cannot stop playing or thinking about gambling. They will look for any opportunity to play, even if they are already low on finances. Compulsive players do not care about the consequences, but only about gambling. That is why we frequently call them pathologic gamblers, and it is the most severe gambling addiction form.
• A binge gambler – a player who acts normally, but once they start gambling, they cannot stop. It might seem that they have everything under control until they start playing. Once they place the first wager or buy a lottery ticket online, they cannot stop. Binge gamblers do not have to play every day to be addicted.
• A problem gambler – a person who doesn’t show compulsive gambling symptom, but playing still affects their quality of life. They might lie to their partners about playing, or end up losing more than expected. Problem gamblers can evaluate to binge and compulsive players.
Is gambling addiction a serious problem?
Yes, gambling addiction is a serious problem, and it is imperative to deal with it as soon as possible. It is crucial not to push addiction issues under the carpet since that could make them worse.
Gambling addiction can significantly affect the gambler’s quality of life, as well as their family, partners, and friends. That is why you should give your best to recognize the symptoms promptly, especially in the case of compulsive gambling.
It is hard to say how many gamblers have an addiction form since many of them use self-help options to deal with the problem. The experts believe that 2-3% of all players deal with some form of addiction.
How gambling affects your life
It is not an exaggeration when someone says that gambling addiction can change your entire life. Take a look at how it could affect you!
1. Mental health
The critical thing to consider is how gambling issues affect your mental health. Gamblers focus only on playing their favorite game and often forget other aspects of their lives. That means they might not be able to focus on job tasks, miss important events, etc.
Gambling addiction itself is a brain disorder, which means it affects your state of mind. In many cases, mental problems are the reason why people become addicted to gambling. It is also common that a mental health issue occurs after developing a gambling addiction.
It is the people that are close to the gambler that is the most affected by their negative habit. It might start by forgetting about your partner’s birthday or missing family dinner. Things could take a turn for the worse when loans, lying and stealing to find time and money to play. Gambling issues could cost you the entire relationship with your partner, and make you distant from your family and friends.
Finances might be a category that takes the first hit once you enter gambling problems. Not being able to stop and not winning anything means you need to invest more money. It is only a matter of time when you will start taking cash that was supposed to be used for other things. Gamblers frequently take loans, miss payments for their home, or even sell the property to acquire funds.
What are the signs of a gambling addiction?
Do you think your friend or a family member developed a gambling addiction? Would you like to test yourself to ensure you are not addicted?
Here is the list of the most frequent signs that you developed negative gambling habits.
1. Always thinking about gambling
It might be your friend’s birthday, and the atmosphere is great. You might have an important work task, but you can’t concentrate because you are thinking about playing casino games. If you are trying to focus on other activities, but you can’t stop imagining visiting a gaming facility, that is among the initial signs of a gambling problem.
2. Developed gambling tolerance
It used to be enough to invest a couple of dollars and feel the excitement. However, you’ve discovered that you now need more money to experience the adrenaline rush. The experts explain this by the term “gambling tolerance.” The more you play, the more money you invest.
The first time you invest a big sum, everything changes. Investing small sums doesn’t do the trick anymore, and that can be dangerous for your finances.
3. No control over the losses
You set a gambling budget so that it doesn’t affect your daily routine or threaten your loan repayment rate. However, once you lost the chosen sum, you realized that you want to continue playing. It all started by taking a tiny portion of the funds important to you. Before you know it, you lose the entire salary or savings. Not being able to control your losses is a sign of a gambling problem and an issue that could ruin your life.
4. Gambling is a way to escape reality
Things are not going great in your life. Your company might have fired you recently, or your partner broke up with you. Going through a rough patch in life makes gambling a fun way to escape reality. In those situations, it can be easy to develop a habit and get yourself into more problems.
5. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
You spend hours a day playing your favorite games. Once you stop, it makes you feel nervous, sad, and depressed. You are anxious to return to gambling, as that is the only thing that soothes you. That is a sign you are going through withdrawal symptoms when not playing. If you compare how you feel about the feelings of a person withdrawing from substance abuse, you will find out the two are similar.
Admitting that you have a gambling problem is hard. You have problems confessing to yourself, and you certainly don’t want others to know. However, if you are going the extra mile to hide from others that you are gambling, that might be a problem. That is especially true if you lie about being sick to miss your friend’s birthday so that you can gamble.
7. Stealing from others
If you are ready to steal money or valuable items for others to acquire gambling founds, it might indicate that you are in a serious problem. Stealing from your friends is immoral, and stealing from others is illegal. Either way, it is crucial not to let yourself do something like this. And if it happens, it is a surefire indicator that you have gambling issues.
(to be continued in the next edition)