Today, the world of gambling is developing at an incredible speed – there are many new betting companies and casinos, and the number of gaming offers is increasing every day. However, along with the development of the gaming industry, a serious problem that affects many users is becoming more and more acute – gaming addiction. Today, this problem has acquired the scale of a real epidemic, and this is observed not only among adults but also among young people. In this review, we will talk about the symptoms of gambling addiction, compulsive gambling, gambling disorder, its consequences, and possible addiction treatment.
Gambling addiction is called a pathological addiction of a person to gambling or computer games. This disease is progressive and develops at the level of the individual. In addition, it is accompanied by serious disorders not only in the psyche but also in other important areas of life.
There can be many reasons for the development of gaming addiction. The most popular of them are the following:
- Various mental disorders
- Features of the human character, among which may be low self-esteem, complexes, shyness. These personality traits often lead to addictions of this kind.
- Many people use games to realize their childhood fantasies and fears.
- Lack of communication. A similar problem is more relevant for teenagers, but recently loneliness has become a serious problem for adults, as many people spend more and more time at the computer, so they have forgotten how to communicate in reality and make new acquaintances. Because of this, many now have much fewer friends, and some do not have them at all.
- Intra-family conflicts. Often, to avoid family scandals, people plunge into an imaginary world, which only exacerbates the situation.
- Social phobias. When a person is afraid of interpersonal relationships and real society, games help him get away from real life, feel significant and strong.
Types of addiction
The active spread of gambling addiction began precisely thanks to the development of technology and the Internet. Today, the most popular varieties of this disease are:
- Irresistible craving for sports betting;
- Internet addiction;
- Computer gambling;
- Gambling addiction.
How does gambling addiction itself?
The main problem of this disease is that gambling addiction is formed gradually and imperceptibly in a person and his immediate environment. That is why close people notice some problems when it is too late to do something, and you need to contact a specialist. Most often, the disease becomes known in the later stages of development, when the onset of negative consequences in all areas of life can no longer be avoided.
The consequences of gambling are as follows:
- Debts, loans, and other financial difficulties;
- Manifestations of unreasonable aggression;
- Problems in the family and at work;
- Loss of vital values;
- Decreased interest in hobbies and hobbies;
- Isolation and loneliness;
- Mental disorders.
Each time the game takes a more and more important place in human life. At the same time, some important spiritual and moral values fade into the background for him. Most of the time, addicted people devote themselves to the game, and they are reluctant to do other things. At the same time, addicted people often neglect their area of responsibility: they become obsessed with slot machines and casinos, forget about parental duty, financial obligations, study, or work.
Gambling addiction is a chronic disease, so one of its main signs can be called a person’s impotence in front of obsessive thoughts about the game. The addicted person is once again drawn into the game process, despite the lack of time and money. He is not aware of what he is doing and cannot stop and stop playing on his own. As a result, this disease often leads to the collapse of the family member life, financial problems, the loss of work, the appearance of debts. You may search online to find more information about gambling disorders, withdrawal symptoms, seeking addiction treatment, compulsive behavior, legal consequences, and emotional symptoms of pathological gamblers.
Gambling is a disease
It is important to understand that gambling is a serious disease, so an addicted person needs treatment. It makes no sense for him to talk about side effects, be scared of the negative consequences of gambling, or give ultimatums. All of these fits won’t work. Therefore, if your loved one is too addicted to games, you need to contact a specialist as soon as possible.
It is possible to overcome the craving for the game on your own only temporarily, but without professional help, these attempts can turn into failure, and in the future, serious depression, growing anxiety, attacks of aggression. Worst of all, all this eventually leads to a return to the game again, or may even end in a suicide attempt.
Addiction or infatuation?
Speaking of gambling addiction, it is also worth distinguishing between a simple passion for gambling and excessive passion, that is, a serious addiction. Some people confuse these concepts.
A person who does not suffer from a disease can plan how much money and time he is willing to spend on games. He controls the game process, and in the case when the funds allocated in advance run out, he can easily stop the game.
A person who has a serious addiction will not be able to stop playing until the inner urge disappears. No vital events can interrupt this process. Most often, he does not realize how much time he spends playing and how much money he spends. He is willing to borrow money and even cheat to keep playing. The process of the game does not correlate with his financial capabilities and plans for the near future.
An addicted person has an irresistible desire to play – this desire can arise at any moment of life, and a person cannot control it. Most often, this forces the gamer to deceive loved ones and resort to various tricks. The disease subjugates the will of a person, violates his emotional state, and greatly changes his personality.
Negative consequences of the disease
A person suffering from gambling addiction inevitably undergoes pathological changes in the psyche. The gambler becomes irresponsible, deceitful, undisciplined, and conflicted. Even those people who are calm by nature, in the presence of gambling addiction, increased aggression is manifested.
With such character traits, an addicted person is not able to fully fulfill his social obligations.
Between gaming sessions and thoughts about the game, a person’s mood can change dramatically. There is constant anxiety and depression. In addition, the disease significantly affects the physical condition:
- Loss of appetite;
- Disorders of the cardiovascular system.
Treatment of gambling addiction
Gambling has officially received the status of a mental illness according to the International Classification of Diseases. In addition, this disease is included in the list of mental disorders of the American Psychiatric Association.
Gambling seriously affects a person’s health, his physical and psychological state, so the treatment is not as simple as it might seem.
Gambling addiction cannot be cured with pills or one visit to a psychologist. Most often, gamblers deny their addiction to the last, because their behavior patterns have already been violated. So they need to have psychological medicine, professional treatment to solve their gambling problems, financial issues, and other addictions.
To get rid of gambling addiction and all legal problems, a complete reconstruction of the personality is required, the restoration of the affected vital spheres and the acquisition of lost moral qualities, goals, and principles.
Such a result can be achieved only with complex rehabilitation, which involves:
- Living together among people with a similar problem who are in different stages of recovery
- Group work with specialists
- Individual work with a psychologist (if necessary, with a psychiatrist and a narcologist);
- Life according to the established daily routine
- Active participation in psychological training and lectures during the recovery process.
If you notice an unhealthy passion for gambling in a loved one, this is a reason to start worrying and contact a specialist. Remember that manifestations such as excessive aggression, frequent mood swings for no reason, lack of financial or moral obligations, and others may be a sign of a gambling addiction that has begun. To avoid the negative consequences of this disease, it is better to contact a specialist as soon as possible.