At first, gambling seems to be an exciting activity, but then it turns fatal for many, who become addicted to the game. In fact, a large part of the world’s population is affected by gambling addiction. In the United States, gambling addiction is found more in white Americans. Around 2.5 million are reported to suffer from compulsive gambling and 15 million are likely to become problem gamblers in the next few years.
What about gambling addiction?
The addicted gamer experiences a series of psychological, physical, economic and social dilemmas. Alcohol and drug abuse problems are also associated with most gambling addicts. Other problems associated with gambling addiction are mood disorder, depression, and antisocial personality disorder.
Gambling addiction is very closely associated with a specific medical condition called compulsive or pathological gambling. In compulsive gambling, there is an increase in the addiction’s uncontrollable preoccupation with gambling, despite the negative effects it entails. To continue their addiction, they also resort to means such as cheating, lying, and even stealing.
Studies reveal that players’ failures are often perceived by them as “almost winning.” This is due to an inflated and faulty activation in the region of their brain cortices, which is often concerned with handling rewards. Players are unable to understand that mistakes are the same and will result in losses.
According to Luke Clark, a researcher on the study and an expert at the University of Cambridge, gambling targets the same system as drug addiction, which is the dopamine system in the brain. In gambling, the neurotransmitter dopamine is released during “near misses.”
Main causes of gambling addiction
In women, this addiction develops as a result of wanting to escape unhappy situations such as broken relationships or marriages and job frustration or poor mental health such as depression, loneliness, anxiety or hopelessness. It usually affects women around 45 and they gamble in places where a lot of skill or experience is not required, such as slot machines.
In men, this addiction develops due to low self-esteem or insecurities. It usually affects men around 35 years of age who choose competitive board games. Instead of improving their feelings, it often leads to debt problems, financial losses, and broken relationships.
Gambling addiction treatment
Similar to a drug rehab center, addicted gamblers receive professional help treatments in terms of psychotherapy and medications. To treat this addiction, medications such as antidepressants are generally used. In psychotherapy, a useful technique is used UFABET in which the player is asked to interpret “near misses” accurately. Taking into account factors such as the age of the addict, the severity of the problem, and more, treatments are provided to the players, such as group activities, support, and therapies that address cognitive behavior.
Gambling addiction often intervenes in the psychological, physical, social and professional spheres of life. Gambling addiction can be devastating not only for the addict but also for his family. The only way to protect loved ones from this addiction is by making them aware of the facts related to the addiction.