Why gambling can become addictive
So many people, so many opinions about gambling and addiction, it seems. If you want to know what responsible gambling is, look at: how much is much?
Gambling has its nice and positive sides. This becomes different when people gamble to be less bothered by something unpleasant, whatever that is. Playing can become a way to deal with problems. Gambling then becomes a sort of solution for this. Then gambling has a function. For example, to get bored less, because of the desire for financial prosperity or to feel less tense. It is characteristic that the gambler is increasingly less able to apply other solutions. We then speak of problematic gambling.
Why can gambling become addictive?
There are several reasons for this.
Research shows that there are games that will increase your sense of gambling. These are the games with direct results, also known as the short-odds games of chance.
If you don't win for a long time, a little at times and sometimes a lot, this increases the chance that you want to continue playing. Gambling machines and casino games are an example of this.
You want to make good the decrease in the number of points or losses. If this fails, this affects your self-esteem. Loss is generally not well tolerated. You will try to win back the loss.
Gambling is exciting and exciting. Your body makes substances that make you feel comfortable. When you play regularly you can start to feel dependent on this pleasant feeling. The lack of this substance makes you feel uncomfortable and you feel like gambling again. This feeling can occur if you do not gamble or because of incentives that remind you of gambling.
There is a large group of gamblers who think that they can influence gambling, while the result is entirely coincidental. This group of gamblers does not believe in coincidence but they think there is a reason why they do or do not win. They are, as it were, trapped in their magical thinking. For example, do you sometimes think that you have a lucky day or that your lucky number is going to yield big profits?
Whether you are addicted or not, it is certainly worthwhile changing your gambling habits if gambling has acquired a wrong function. In a treatment you focus on applying other ways to solve problems without gambling. Read more about change at: unlearning habit.
When gambling causes problems, there could be problematic gambling or pathological gambling (addiction). The following explains the difference between the two.
If there is problem gambling, you can identify yourself in at least one of the following four points, seen over the period of the past year:
Gambling makes things that you have to do at home, at school or at work worse, such as being late, staying away, doing a bad job, suspending school, neglecting children or household.
Gambling takes place in situations where this is dangerous or irresponsible, such as when you leave to gamble while leaving your three-year-old child alone at home.
You come into contact with the judiciary by gambling, for example by fraud or by engaging in criminal practices.
Gambling continues even though the problems surrounding gambling keep coming back and getting more serious, for example, arguing at home about gambling too much money or losing a job due to non-compliance with agreements.
In case of problem gambling, you do not have to suffer from withdrawal symptoms. The reason for gambling may be to be less troubled by problems. Gambling has then become a way of dealing with problems. It has then received a wrong function; you play to be less bored, to feel less stressed, to react, to find comfort, or to find a distraction for unpleasant feelings. You are in the losing phase. We also call this problematic gambling.
International agreements have been made about when you can speak of dependence, in this case therefore dependent on gambling.
If there is persistent and recurring gambling behavior as shown by 5 (or more) of the following points:
You are obsessed with gambling. For example, you experience previous gambling experiences over and over, you plan gambling or you think about ways to get money to gamble.
You need more and more money to gamble to achieve the desired excitement.
Repeated attempts to control or stop gambling were unsuccessful.
When attempting to reduce or stop gambling, you are restless or irritable.
You often return the next day to reclaim the money that was previously wasted. You are trying to break even.
You lie to domestic participants or others to disguise how involved you are in gambling.
You have committed unlawful acts to pay for gambling, such as embezzlement, forgery, fraud or theft.
Because of gambling, you have jeopardized or lost important relationships, work, or educational or career opportunities.
You count on others to provide money to alleviate a hopeless financial situation created by gambling.
When you recognize yourself in 5 or more points, you are in the losing phase or the desperate phase.
Gambling in combination with alcohol, drugs or medication
Research has shown that there is a relationship between gambling and alcohol, drugs and some drugs. When you gamble, you may need something to stay awake or to dare to do more. But it is also possible that you are awake because of the problems surrounding your gambling addiction. You do not sleep and take medication for this.
Alcohol has a narcotic effect.
When you drink, you notice the narcotic effect in your body. You are less sensitive to pain, you hear a little worse, and you see and taste less well. The narcotic effect also has an effect on your emotional life, your emotions. Alcohol also anaesthetizes brain functions, reducing self-criticism, your ability to correctly assess situations, yourself and others.
Alcohol is inhibited, it is said. You do things that you would not normally do so quickly.
That effect can work out well. You make contact more easily, you feel more secure, you have fewer feelings of guilt and shame, you worry less, you sleep better, and you can enjoy sex better. You may even think that you are guessing better. In any case, the alcohol causes the brake not to gamble to go away earlier so that you can easily take the step to start gambling.
But there is also the danger of becoming dependent on drinking.
You may have made it a habit to use alcohol for this purpose. So to be less troubled by problems such as poor sleep, worry and the like. Or to risk gambling more riskily. If you stop drinking, this will help you better control your gaming behavior. If you have solved problems in this way for a long time, you may not know how to do it differently. You can of course learn this again.