Gambling addiction

People do not need to go to Las Vegas these days to play “Black Jack” in a casino. New regulations made some changes and now a casino is found in nearly every city in the United States. Gambling to many of the gamblers is a pleasant hobby and a way to spend their spare time and enjoy themselves. However, there are a lot of people all around the world who sooner or later become pathologic gamblers.

Gambling addiction is one of the obsessive compulsive disorders.  It is described by loss of control on impulses while being in a casino. Denial, symptoms of withdrawal when not gambling and financial problems caused by this pathologic habit comprise most of the features of this type of a psychological disorder. Men are more often affected by this addiction compared to women.

A person who is addicted to this habit usually spends a lot of time in a casino. A first play — no matter if it is lost or won — might be catching and the addict would spend the whole night at the table. Such a person usually gambles all the money he or she has and starts having serious financial problems. Since an addict spends a lot of time at the casino, other spheres of life are not important to him/her anymore. Therefore social problems occur — in the family, at work and with friends.
Unlike with other psychological addictions, drinking, taking drugs come along with pathologic gambling. Hence, a pathologic gambler develops a multiple syndrome and needs a good professional help.

Test yourself

What you might need to know is that an addict usually does not admit to the problem. He/she denies being addicted to family members, friends and even oneself. This questionnaire might help you differentiate between a pathologic and normal gambling.

  1. Did you ever skip the lectures or work due to gambling?
  2. Was your reputation ruined by gambling?
  3. Have you ever felt guilty and ashamed because you could not escape from gambling?
  4. Did you ever go to the casino to get money so that you could deal with your financial problems or debts?
  5. Did gambling diminish your aims or effectiveness?
  6. When you lose do you often go back to the casino to win the money back?
  7. When you win do you wish to win even more?
  8. Did you often stay in a casino until you did not have a single dollar in your purse?
  9. Did you ever borrow to have money to go to a casino?
  10. Was it hard for you to use the money for normal expenses rather than gambling?
  11. Did you become inattentive of your and your family’s prosperity?
  12. Have you ever stayed longer in a casino that you have thought in the beginning?
  13. Have you ever gambled to run away from your problems and anxiety?
  14. Have you ever got the money in an illegal way in order to go to a casino?
  15. Do you have problems in sleeping due to gambling?
  16. Do you feel like going to a casino when you have problems, arguments and dissatisfaction?
  17. Did you ever have a desire to commemorate any good luck going to a casino?
  18. Have you ever thought of ending your life as an effect of your habit?

If your answers were positive to at least three of these questions, you actually need professional help to deal with gambling addiction. Do not hesitate, because this disorder is curable. The only thing you need to do is to ask for help and wish to be treated.

Those who might be afraid of getting addicted to gambling the best thing is not to go to a casino. And if you still go there remember when to stop because anyway "The house always wins".


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