Gambling is a widely known activity that is undoubtedly favored by numerous players from various corners of the world annually. For players that used to approach the gambling at online casinos as one of the ways to spend great time and enjoy the process, it’s nothing but a pure pleasure. Nevertheless, there are people who find themselves addicted to gambling and lose control each time they are at a casino table.
Thus, gambling is a contradictory issue which has a blur line between a harmless hobby and a serious disease that can ruin lives of both those who play and people around. If the person shows the symptoms of gambling addiction, it’s high time to deal with it as a medical issue.
What's Gambling Addiction?
Casino addiction is classified as a disease which is very difficult to treat, as there is rather a psychological than physical dependence on games. The source of disorder is a pathological craving for various games, such as slot machines, pools or betting clubs, casinos, excessive interest in computer games, and so on.
The main manifestation of gambling addicts however is a morbid craving and continued participation in the casino games.
The symptoms grow and become more complex without proper treatment, which has a range of negative social consequences. They are damaging relations in the family, or a ruin at work, etc. The behavior of inveterate gamers is anti-social, the disease sometimes develops into other forms of addiction. This addiction can occur separately or be a symptom of other mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, various maniac states, biological and neurochemical disorders, etc.
The main reasons for gambling addiction are the following:
- loneliness or dissatisfaction;
- overall compliance of dependence;
- feeling of easy money;
- mental disorders.
As a result, the disease makes lives of the gamblers ruin rapidly, spoil relations with family and friends. They are often fired from their jobs or left by spouse. Apart from playing, the patients cease to be interested in all that surrounds them. Created over the years, their live positions are melting away, there is sadness and bitterness, resentment and despondency, etc. Of course, when a person decides for a change to play for the first time, he does not think about any consequences. Gambling enthusiasm appears really quickly, then passion and euphoria, which are replaced by despair, fear and loneliness at the end.
There are symptoms that should alert most gamers:
- All thoughts are about the game (analyzing past games, planning nearest rates, etc.);
- Powerful mental stimulation during the game;
- Ending the game causes anger, anxiety, irritation;
- Trying to recoup after a loss.
Usually the patient is lying to a doctor and family, trying to underestimate the need for the game. He belittles its importance for himself. Either for the sake of addiction or to cheat and find the money and so on.
How to find out if you're an addict?
One need to demonstrate all side effects of gambling to be analyzed and diagnosed as an addicted player. To be viewed as a neurotic card shark with a specific end goal, an individual must meet no less than more than a half of the criteria you find below of the gambling addiction guide. They should not be the consequence of a different emotional well-being issues. While problem gambling is still inexactly characterized, a person who displays any of these manifestations may wish to investigate his inclinations, and somebody that consistently shows various criteria may well find out he already has a serious issue.
There are 4 stages of problem gambling:
1. Wins. At this stage the addict plays not very regularly. Junior is just dreaming of wins and raises the stakes.
2. Losts. He already quits his job to devote all the time to the game and can play alone, it often takes much money.
3. Despair. The reputation is spoiled, family is lost, constant panic attacks begin. The player regrets, but tries to justify himself.
4. Hopelessness. He develops addiction to alcohol, thoughts of suicide, has problems with law enforcement, the first manifestation of madness comes next.
The symptoms of gambling addiction:
- nervousness and irritability;
- apathy to everything, but the game;
- unjustified anger, excessive excitability;
- lack of self-control;
- life outside the game does not seem interesting;
- "breaking" without any play;
- uncontrollable desire to continuously play.
In addition, the pathological gamers can not stand the loss of work, family, friends, and ever-increasing debt. Coping with the disease is possible only with the help of a specialist.
What to Do to Help People With Gambling Problems?
Have you ever though of the situation where you find some of your friends or relatives addicted? If not, you probably should now. The point is that alongside other widely known problems like alcohol or drug addiction, problem gambling makes over $500 billion spent as annual wagers and thousands people addicted, and someone you know may be in.
With the increase of the number of online casinos and players entering the virtual gaming halls as the result ofcertain restrictions in the legislation, gamblers are ready to transfer their activities in the area into the virtual world which increases the dependence on the electronic gambling as proved by the countless expert research. There are some wise actions each should take in the case of helping a game addict:
- Firstly, it is not necessary to get despaired and start using ultimatums, locking up the game addicts in the room, sending to the rehab anonymously or any other extreme. It will not lead to good in majpority of cases and only cause the patient aggression.
- Secondly, try to persuade the gamers to visit an experienced psychiatrist. It's betetr than a word «doctor». Do not forget that the man himself would never recognize addiction.
First of all, the doctor establishes the contact with the gambling addict, makes him trust and has a desire to help. On mild stages of the disease, friends and family can help and provide the basic treatment measures, you just need to fill the time of the patient with appropriate therapy. That is to do something else in the time when people used to play: to go on a visit, go on a picnic, spend time with children, etc.
- Often a child, or an adolescent becomes addicted and the main thing here is the influence of parents. As a rule, children hide in games from the world due to the deficit of parental love and attention. This thing here is to finally make friends with the own child, begin to spend the time with him and pay attention to his needs.
- In severe cases it may even be necessary to take the therapeutic course in a psychiatric hospital with special medicament. There are no preparations healing compulsive gambling. In a specialized clinic, however, the use of an integrated approach that includes spiritual work, medications (antidepressants mostly) and psychological support will be effective in treatment of game addiction.
Problem Gambling Myths
Myth №1: Only the co-gamers understand me and are my friends!
Fatigue and desire to cheer up which in fact is only an excuse are usually pulled to a place where the game is. And, as a rule, the same people get together. They have common interests - common challenges, common joys and a common disease. All that unites them and creates a false sense of that they are all like-minded people to understand each other deeply and so on.
Myth №2: Life is boring without gambling!
Tired of the increasing pace of life many human are really bored by their feelings and experience less and less joy from activities that previously gave them the bright and positive emotions. In fact, it's a kind of escapism and people who overuse are definitely in trouble.
Myth №3: The isolation from civilization will help addicts!
The gamers' isolation from civilization is a doubtless issue. Discouraged gamers' relatives usually have such a belief. To begin with, that is not possible to get cured of this disease completely. And in the cure of this disease, we, first of all, should mind the remission periods.
Myth №4: Only cowards are afraid to lose!
Often, people are immersed in a world of illusions so much that they want the other people to get into the same delusion surrounding. And then they begin to idealize their behavior, often hiding their failures and wrong decisions under the loud false and sometimes very naive success.
Myth №5: This is my last game!
I'm having a round now and give up forever! So wrong! Dependence turns an addict into a weak-willed person and an amorphous creature that usually lives deception of not only the other people, who are the only source of funds for gambling, but most of themselves. This is where your brain or rather its receptors get the desired source of dopamine from.
Myth №6: Gambling is a moderate form of addiction as compared to the drug!
The truth is that every form of addiction is a chronic disease that demands only long-term treatment and are impossible to get rid of completely. The desired outcome is remission (ie. a temporary subside of addiction). But remission is usually a temporary phenomenon, if we do not apply supporting therapy regularly to a patient.
Myth №7: Fortune has nothing to do with it!
Players are often convinced that they are engaged in the so called intellectual labor while gambling. They develop their inner world and at the same time can earn extra cash! In fact, they waste much time and neglect the primary goal of gambling - to entertain. Entertaining cannot bring any intellectual tension either long or short time and thus is just an activity of having fun. Game addicts sunk into oblivion with their obsession to win and make fortune at gambling or something.
Gambling Problem Solution Websites
There are also special organizations that help people with gambling issues who may hard or simply impossible to undergo the medical examination or simply cannot admit they're ill in public.
The National Council on Problem Gambling advocates for issues problem gamblers or their families, and is totally autonomous of the gambling business. Their site contains broad data on gambling addiction issues, treatment data, and advocates all through the United States who are prepared to manage compulsive gambling issues. There is also National Problem Gambling Helpline Network that has a hot line and is run by the NCPG. It offers the full data on local resources for problem gamblers and their relatives.
Official website: http://www.ncpgambling.org
Tool free: (800-522-4700)
Gamblers Anonymous, Founded in 1957
Gamblers Anonymoushas neighborhood assembles that meet all over the world. The main prerequisite for those hoping to join is that they have a yearning to quit betting. GA incorporates a 12 stage project to help recovering problem gamblers abstain from backsliding into their old practices. There are additionally groups available for the friends and family (Gam-Anon) and the offspring of problematic players (Gam-A-Teen).
Official website: http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/
GamCare is an industry-subsidized philanthropy organization that offers non-judgmental directing and guidance problem gambling addicts in the United Kingdom. GamCare additionally works with Help Line in the UK.
Official website: http://www.gamcare.org.uk/
Toll free: 0808 8020 133
This Australian web site provides the info of harm minimization, preventative education and also access to support guiding for youngsters worried about their own betting or that of their parents, friends or someone else.
Official website: http://www.gspot.org.au
Anyway, the issue of gambling addiction as a phenomenon did not arise yesterday and will not disappear tomorrow. Due to the emergence of online casinos in a relatively short period of time, this problem is much debated. There are still some difficulties in the organization of identification of the individuals suffering from this disorder and providing them with the qualified medical and psychological assistance, etc.
However, the methods of medical care available today for the suffering from this disorder are effective enough and approved, but it does not have to soothe and eliminate the need to find new ways, methods and means of assistance to those who suffer from problem gambling.
Nowadays the treatment is carried out only with the so-called biopsychosocial approach that can be effective and successful in order to achieve a positive result in treating from the painful perception of the game failures by the problem gamblers. However, no matter the ways of support and treatment with the help of the earlier formation, the development of addiction should be primarily stopped by prevention which still remains a point of discussion. The better and more effective treatment will be carried out in this regard only after more thorough study of human psyche and the gambling passion.