What Is Gambling Addiction?
Currently, Gambling addiction is a serious brain disease. It can affect how a person develops a fetish for various forms of gambling. In some cases, it is inseparable and often dangerous. Unfortunately, the addicts put gambling activities at the top of their priority list. They think about it all the time and fantasize what the next move will bring for them.
Such preoccupation may lead to catastrophic results. Understandably, this puts an enormous strain on many parts of their life. For example, their job, school performance, money status, and relationships.
These days, online gambling is a new emerging form of the addiction. Tragically, it has taken the lives of many individuals. Of course, this is particularly a dreadful situation. It is especially considering a perennial access to the internet these days. To make things worse, you do not have to leave your couch to start trying your luck. Various websites provide such facilities and lure you into the abyss.
Synonyms: Compulsive or Pathological gambling, Gambling Disorder.
The Root Of Gambling Addiction Lies Inside Your Brain
Sometimes, dysfunctional brain structure plays a key role in this. They will initiate these urges for compulsive gambling. In fact, they have some abnormality. They are in the part of the brain that controls emotions and motivations. This is what the scientific analysis of the affected brain structure suggests.
Moreover, various socio-economic and behavioral factors can further boost the risk. Meanwhile, they may associate some cases with certain conditions. They include the use of certain medications and mental illnesses like bipolar disorder.
How do you Recognize the Signs of Gambling Addiction in Your Loved Ones?
Unlike the other forms of addiction, it does not produce an immediate physical sign. For this reason, an early detection may not an easy task for their friends and family members. Recognizing it at an early stage takes a lot of effort. Watch for the following signs in your loved ones.
- Loss of a large amount of money that you cannot relate to a specific situation.
- Asking for monetary help time and again.
- Previous or current diagnosis of other mental disorders. For example, anxiety and depression. In addition, a known history of a suicide attempt without an obvious cause. Therefore, this could be a strong indicator of the gambling problems.
- Recent money problems, strained relations and sliding performance at college or office.
- Involvement in theft or other criminal activities to fund their gambling activities. In fact, it may result in a legal charge against them.
- Providing illogical reasons for their increasing need of money. Some may lie or attempt to hide their activities.
If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, talk to them in a friendly manner. This way, you will be able to build a trustworthy environment where they may open up about their problems.
Am I Addicted?
Well, this might be easier in comparison to the case in your loved ones. Keep a close eye on your thoughts, urges, and behavior.
- Spending a large chunk of income in gambling despite facing losses. In fact, the urges may seem uncontrollable.
- Feeling guilty, depressed, helpless and irritable for losing your control.
- Extreme restlessness if you try not to gamble or reduce the ongoing frequency. Much like other addiction, these typical symptoms may show gambling withdrawal.
- Returning back after a certain period of abstinence. The aim here is to recover the lost money. This is a typical symptom of a relapse.
- Risky behaviors such as drinking too much alcohol or careless driving for the excitement.
What Are The Effects Of Gambling Addiction?
The effects of gambling addiction may range anywhere from a loss of money to suicide. In addition, they may ruin almost every aspect of life. For example, relationships, academic or office performance, self-image, self-esteem, behavior, and social responsibilities. Typically, the effects during the withdrawal period include certain conditions. They include strong urges, restlessness and worsening of pre-existing mental disorders.
Suicide: For a few addicts, suicide may be the only way out. That way, they set themselves away from mounting loans and debts. In other cases, they may take such self-destructive step due to depression or a fear of legal charges.
What You Can Do
Addiction and habit are totally different. In fact, an addiction is a dangerous disease. It needs a treatment just like any other disease. You can expect a full recovery with the right treatment.
Moreover, using the following tips may help to make an early diagnosis of the problem:
- Give an attention to the pattern, frequency and progression of the typical signs. That way, you may be able to separate an addiction from a lack of self-control. In addition, it may point out certain problems with impulsive actions.
- Talk to them in a friendly manner so that they do not feel offended.
- Once you confirm the problem, take them for a professional consultation. Then, addiction experts can suggest you the way ahead.
- In the meantime, ask them to stay away from other friends with the same problem. Help them follow a healthy routine. It may include some exercise sessions, balanced diet, and quality sleep.
- Stay close to them, listen to their problems and comfort them. Meanwhile, tell them the success stories of other problems who are clean now.
Do you think someone you love has a gambling addiction? You should talk an addiction counselor. They can teach ways to deal with the cravings, prevent relapses. Finally, the addict will be on their way to a full recovery.
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