What exactly is a gambling addiction?
It is a psychical problem, being considered one of the most common problems due to the lack of self control among people. Sports bets, poker, lotto and casinos are only a few things that can cause addiction. A recent study shows that the rate of people with serious gambling problems in Europe is between 2% and 4%. This problem is often found at men, but it continues to grow among women too. If a man develops this addiction while in his teens, a woman will discover the mirage of gambling later on in life. Nevertheless, the addiction tends to aggravate faster at women than at men, 89% of the addicted people have as the main pathological problem the money. The idea of betting and winning sums of money makes people addicted. In 11% of the cases of addictions, people feel the need to gamble, the thrill of risking and they do not care that much about the material gains.
What are the causes of a gambling addiction?
There is no main cause why people end up addicted. The need for money is one of the reasons why many people have ended up investing important sums in these games. Likewise, there are some cases in which people end up gambling because they have lost sums of money or other valuable things. The gambling addiction is sometimes the cause of some emotional problems, resulted from social problems, wrong ways of thinking, unfortunate events, all pressuring on the biological vulnerability of the individual.
What are the risk of gambling addiction?
An acute addiction to gambling can lead to schizophrenia, personality disturbances, alcohol problems and even drug problems. Likewise, studies have shown that people with a lower level of serotonin in the brain are more predisposed to gambling addiction than others.
The gambling addiction can lead to the loss of close friends, violence and unemployment.
How can I tell whether I am addicted?
- The need of money to invest is games of chance is grater than the satisfaction of a mere hobby.
- Gambling has become your only concern, leaving behind all other things you used to consider important (you do not read anymore, walk through the park, you do not watch movies as often as before, you gave up sports and you do not go out with friends so often).
- You have though many times of quitting, you tried it but you never succeeded.
- You needed a sum of money for an important problem and the only solution you came up with was placing bets or playing games of chance.
- You have started to lie to your family or close friends about sums of money or lack of time.
- Without taking a break you have started gambling after losing an important sum of money.
- Your friends are telling you that you look sadder or that you have anxiety problems.