Category: Gambling Addiction

Targeting The Psychological Mechanisms Of Gambling Addiction

Several years ago, people believed that true addictions could only be based on addictive substances such as drugs or alcohol. Activities such as gambling were not considered to be able to cause addiction, and people who were unable to control their gambling sprees were labeled as stupid and reckless.

However, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical  Manual of Mental Disorders, the gold standard for categorizing mental illnesses, finally classified pathological gambling as an addiction. People are starting to recognize the addictive nature of gambling, and this increased understanding will hopefully lead to more action to solve this issue.

Around two million individuals in America alone grapple with gambling addiction, and several million more face similar dilemmas around the globe. Many people believe that gambling is something that anyone can quit easily, but there is more to it than just willpower. The mechanisms by which the act of gambling becomes addictive are deeply rooted in psychology and cognitive science, and understanding these can help us design more effective therapies to cure people of this addiction.

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The Reward System

Becoming addicted to behaviors such as gambling shares similar mechanisms with addiction due to substances. A particular region in the brain contains neural circuits that activate when people engage in pleasure-seeking activities such as eating or sex. Thus, this part is called the reward system of the brain, and it connects to several other brain regions that influence memory, pleasure, and motivation. The reward system serves a beneficial role by rewarding behavior that helps in survival, such as eating, or that helps in perpetuating the species, such as sex. This effect increases the motivation to seek out these activities in the future.

However, you can also abuse the reward system. The thrill of gambling also produces the same feel-good neurotransmitters that other pleasurable acts can produce. Gambling activates the reward center, marking the activity as something that should be sought after in the future. As the addiction grows, connections of the reward center with the prefrontal cortex weaken. The prefrontal cortex influences decision-making and impulse control, and the weaker connections result in a greater difficulty to stop the addiction from progressing.

 

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Mistaken Beliefs

Many addicted gamblers hold beliefs that make them more vulnerable to losing control. For example, the common gamblers’ fallacy is the mistaken belief that a massive win must eventually follow a series of losses. Some people, then, take this as a sign to keep placing bets, even if they have already accumulated large losses.

Some specific gambling mechanisms also take advantage of the psychology of gambling. Some devices have random periods where they give rewards more frequently and generously, encouraging gamblers to stick around in the hopes of placing a bet during these high-reward times. Other devices entice losing players to keep on playing by increasing reward pots after a series of losses. Almost all machines used for gambling are adorned with bright lights and warm colors, and most casinos use classy decor that denotes a high-brow culture. All of these can subtly associate gambling with eventual riches in the minds of the players.

 

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These mechanisms underscore the need for holistic treatments to stop gambling, such as therapies that include medication and counseling. Interventions on the part of casinos themselves, such as policies meant to discourage people from falling into addiction, are also necessary. Only a multisector approach can solve problems as complex as addiction.

Gambling Addiction Treatment Options

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Casinos are continually popping everywhere. Lottery and scratch card games are always a big seller. Also, there are numerous online gambling sites available. People are fascinated with the idea of risking something small to have the chance or a possibility of getting more significant money almost instantly. Some might argue that after all gambling is legal and it can’t be that hazardous since the person is not consuming any substance; however according to experts, gambling addiction is similar to any obsessive-compulsive disorder. It can be indirectly harmful to the body.

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Stages Of Gambling Addiction

Source: choosehelp.com

What most gamblers do not realize or forget to realize is that they will never win in any form of gambling unless they quit. The mathematics of gambling shows that the odds are far greater than the chances of winning.

Your chances of winning are either through intensive research of the probabilities by factoring in the statistics of the past results, a lousy game by an opponent or by pure luck.

It was just recently proven by science that people tend to be addicted to gambling the same way that they could also get addicted to drugs. The Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery identified four stages of gambling addiction:

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Depression And Gambling: Two Peas In A Pod

Source: rehabs.com

Which comes first – the chicken or the egg? This is something that can be related to the problem of gambling and depression. What makes the person go on excessive gambling? Is he suffering from depression? Or did gambling cause his depression? This article will present the relationship of depression and gambling and will examine what strategies to implement if a person is suffering from both mental states.

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Gambling And Alcohol Addiction

 

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Sometimes you wonder– “Am I impulsively gambling when I’m drunk or do I drink so much because I am gambling?” Gambling can become an addiction and it is very difficult to overcome. Alcohol is also a very dangerous substance and people can get very addicted to it. The problem will double its forces when a person is not only addicted to one of these. Being addicted to both gambling and alcohol at the same time can be disastrous.

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Gambling And Its Detrimental Effects

Source: gamblinghelp.org

We have heard stories about how gambling can be a serious problem that can not only affect oneself but also those of other people’s lives. I am talking about a news article I encountered online about a man who was troubled deeply with gambling issues, decided to take the whole casino which resulted in 37 deaths of innocent civilians. This event took place in the Philippines in May of 2017. At first, authorities thought it was a terrorist attack because the identified attacker was seen carrying heavy firearms. He set a portion of the casino on fire. Some of the terrified customers went on to hiding but eventually suffocated from the smoke. The man also set himself on fire as reported by the local enforcement officers.

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5 Leisure Activities Healthier Than Gambling

 

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If you’re struggling with an addiction to gambling, one of the most important things you can do is to seek out new pastimes. Not only will this get your mind off the poker table, it will also expand your life experience, opening up all sorts of productive opportunities for a more successful you. Today, we’ll take a glance at five savvy options, so kick back and consider our suggestions. If any of them pop out at you, don’t delay until you can hear the casino calling all over again — make plans posthaste!

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Gambling is Destroying Families

Gambling is Destroying Families

What is gambling?

Gambling may include risking something important on a bet hoping to win more in return. Gambling refers to the determination of owning a property through an appeal to get a chance. The luck is the resulting effect of play on natural powers to which nobody, save maybe God, can control and or calculate it. Most games provide the chance to a certain degree of using skill, for instance, at the races. Gambling is defined as something which when every player loses more than they can afford and, in some cases, includes everything (the car, the house, the life savings, and even the wife). If you or a loved one is experiencing this or you are worried that your partner may be gambling your savings away, you should seek help through free online counseling. Click here for more details.

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Gambling Destroyed My Life

source: alltreatment.com

“I LOST EVERYTHING. My wife left me and I can’t see my kids. My 6-figure paying job is now non-existent. The house we built from the ground up is not ours anymore since I lost it to gambling. My debts are astounding and my mother who’s already 70 years old had to travel and get me because I have absolutely nothing. What I have are two garbage bags with used clothes and that’s it.”

Justyn Larcombe was thinking about all of that in July of 2013 when gambling took everything he held dear. This retired Army major was living “the life” in Derbyshire and it took him three years to finally realize how gambling was such a grave mistake.

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