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Gambling addiction

Behavioral Addictions

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Gambling addiction consolation definition

Postby Arabei В» 22.05.2019

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Of all the behavioural addictions — indeed, all addictions generally — that might afflict a person, there is little doubt that the one with the potential to cause the greatest financial damage, over the shortest time, is gambling. Known since ancient times to be capable of bringing even the very richest person down into complete destitution, the perils of gambling are hardly an unknown phenomenon; it is only comparatively recently, however, that gambling addiction has come to be studied and treated as a distinct disorder, rather than simply dismissed as an unfortunate vice to which only the weak and foolish succumb.

According to a report by the Gambling Commission, over , Britons are now addicted to gambling with a further 2 million at risk of addiction , and although some small steps have since been taken by leading gambling firms to address the problem — or, at least, to appear to do so — this huge industry shows few signs of genuine reform and continues to be a remarkably lucrative arena for those organisations — at the expense of countless individuals for whom the thrill of the bet and the prospect of that elusive big win have proven impossible to resist.

Fundamentally, if someone is gambling regardless of the harm being caused to themselves or others, and finding it difficult or impossible to stop gambling, they may need treatment for their condition. Unfortunately, some people — perhaps burdened with debt or unable to hide losses from loved ones — are tempted to commit crime to raise or pay back money, but this is not an inevitable development. Although this is not the case every society, here in the UK gambling has traditionally been considered a comparatively harmful vice, and betting led by the horseracing industry has been legalised and regulated for many years.

Anyone over the age of 18 can go to the bookmakers, walk into a casino or gamble online perfectly legally; this has given rise to a situation where we are now surrounded — not just on the High Street, but on television and even in the devices we carry around constantly everyday — by opportunities to bet one of the biggest challenges facing recovering addicts. Despite the general awareness of the damage which can be caused by problem gambling, occasional betting itself does not necessarily have any stigma attached — indeed, betting on the Grand National especially has come to be seen almost as an annual national tradition — so there are none of the offputting or discouraging social factors associated with starting to gamble which may accompany, for example, taking hard drugs even though the possible financial consequences can be equally cataclysmic.

The thrill of a football match, a close race, or an intense boxing bout can be extreme, almost primal — but unless you are devoted to your team to an absurd and problematic degree, the result will typically mean very little in terms of its effect on your daily life. Even a small wager, however, can change that: the experience of watching even the most exciting football match will not give you hard cash in your pocket, whereas with betting you may feel all the thrills of spectating followed by the pleasure of having made money.

However, as any gambling addict is likely to testify, that particular thrill can become much more intense — indeed, life-changing — than any sport you may see live or on television. In other words, we may start off gambling for the pleasure of winning, but we continue for the pleasure of gambling itself.

However, most gambling does involve risking money and understandably it is this sort of betting around which the gambling industry has revolved. In the UK, the most prominent — and damaging — types of gambling include sports betting including horseracing and spread betting , and events betting for example gambling on election results with bets able to be placed either inside bricks-and-mortar bookmakers or online; fruit machines and fixed odds betting terminals FOBTs — usually within betting shops or casinos ; casino and card games with versions also available online ; and lotteries and scratchcards.

Although not typically described as such, certain types of investing — for example in the stock market — may also have many characteristics of gambling and can lead to the emergence of similar behavioural patterns and problems. Although it is crucial to recognise that every case of addiction is unique, experts often divide the evolution of a gambling addiction into a few key stages.

They are unable to stop gambling even with the very last of their money, or with sums they may have borrowed to buy food and other necessities. They may engage in crime — fraud, theft or other forms — in order to fund their habit, and could possibly be in danger as a result of loans they may have taken out in order to fund gambling and repay other debts.

Complete destitution is not by any means an impossibility, while many gamblers who have reached this point may engage in suicidal ideation, or even attempt suicide, in the face of what they see as a hopeless situation.

Although the mechanisms through which gambling addiction — and behavioural addictions generally — takes hold in terms of brain chemistry are increasingly well though still imperfectly understood, our understanding of why those mechanisms manifest in some people and not others is still comparatively limited.

It is clear however that the more someone is exposed to gambling especially at a young age the greater the likelihood that they will at least begin to gamble — and of course without starting gambling in the first place a gambling addiction will not manifest, although it is again always important to remember that gambling once or even many times will not automatically cause an addiction.

Moreover, over time this reward system imbalance means that a person often needs to engaging increasingly intense behaviour — for example, in the case of gambling addiction, to place ever greater and more consequential bets — in order to achieve the same effects which previously would have been the result of less intense, less risky activity.

As with any addiction, an addict may go to great lengths to conceal their condition, and unlike in the case of many substance abuse disorders there may be few if any physical signs. Therefore in most serious cases a visible deterioration will be identifiable. The emotional strain of being a gambling addict can be profound, especially if and when losses are racked up which will have a significant impact on the life of the addict and on those around them, especially close family.

Volatile mood swings are common and depression is extremely likely to manifest over time, along with a markedly more pessimistic outlook and demeanour. On the other hand, in the aftermath of a big win, the addict is likely to be on an emotional high. While gambling addiction does not present physical symptoms in the same way as substance abuse disorders typically involve visible intoxication, there may well be a pronounced physical impact on the addict: for example, long periods without sleep and extremely irregular eating patterns — both of which may result from long binges of gambling — can cause a range of visible physical problems including tics, fainting, seizures , malnutrition and many more.

Even in less extreme cases, a general deterioration of physical appearance may be identifiable. As and when a gambling addiction begins to have serious financial consequences, moreover, this is likely to become visible in the form of deteriorating clothing and a shabby appearance generally, as well as decreased levels of hygiene. It is important to note that gambling often co-occurs with other addictions, especially alcoholism , which may present their own physical symptoms. Lying and secrecy typically go hand-in-hand with the emergence of addiction as the gambler attempts to conceal their habits and, especially, losses.

Sleeping and eating patterns may change, while they may lose interest in previously treasured activities and people, and form new peer groups or descend into isolation.

Depending on the specific type of gambling involved, they may become obsessive about data or probabilities. Work may be negatively affected by tardiness, absenteeism, declining concentration and cognitive faculties, and possibly a use of work facilities to gamble. They are likely constantly to be asking to borrow money, while on the other hand they may be occasionally extremely flush with money and engaging in very liberal spending. They are also very likely frequently to be preoccupied and taciturn, and possibly very depressed, adopting a very negative demeanour and potentially feeling animosity towards the world at large because of what they see as their very bad luck.

As previously noted, gambling has the potential to be the most expensive form of addiction, with no theoretical upper limit on losses beyond how much money an addict can access in any way. Typically an addict is likely to be short of or entirely without cash on a frequent basis, often needing to borrow money to fund the basics of life.

They may burn through even valuable assets very quickly, even those which technically are being shared with partners. They may be unable to obtain credit legitimately, and could have a history of default or bankruptcy. Some problem gamblers engage in financial crime to fund their habits or cover losses.

Despite typically having less access to cash than their adult counterparts, and theoretically being unable to gamble legally, young people are nevertheless at risk of developing gambling addictions. The more, and the longer, one gambles, the greater the chance one will lose everything, Of course, some kinds of gambling — regional or national lotteries, most obviously — offer vast, life-changing prizes for a very small outlay — but even here there is no guarantee that such huge sums will remain intact for long: the overwhelming majority of big lottery winners burn through their winnings within a decade.

History is littered with tales of gambling addicts who have left not just themselves but their families out on the street, while even short of such tragedy relationships can be irreparably damaged by the deceit and volatile behaviour which can often accompany a gambling addiction. The health consequences of problem gambling can also be permanent, with depression frequently leading to self-harm and suicide, and physical health suffering as a result of issues related to stress, unhealthy dietary and sleeping patterns and other factors; gambling addictions often cooccur with substance abuse disorderswhich of course have their own implications for physical and mental health.

Gambling addiction frequently occurs alongside other mental health conditions, and indeed other addictions. Typically, the most common disorders resulting with a decent degree of certainty from gambling addiction include anxiety disorders, depression and other mood disorders, and substance abuse disorders, though a huge variety of other conditions have also been associated with gambling addiction for instance, kleptomania, perhaps initially resulting from a need to acquire money, but eventually becoming a clinical condition in its own right.

It is perhaps less easy to establish causal connections between pre-existing conditions and gambling addiction, and again every case is unique, with no certainty that someone with a given disorder will become a gambling addict if exposed to gambling. Those gambling for the thrill of it, at least initially, are more likely than the average to crave thrills of other kinds too, with stimulants such as cocaine which can also make the user feel more confident in their own judgement and other euphoria -inducing substances especially popular; alcohol , meanwhile, is both ubiquitous and legal in the UK, and its disinhibitory effects mean those under the influence of are much more likely than normal to begin, or continue, gambling.

Heavy gamblers may resort to stimulants to stay awake during prolonged bouts of gambling for example at gaming tables or playing cards online.

Substance abuse is often a response to depression and other disorders which can result from gambling especially from heavy losses. Such self- medication may make for a pleasant short-term fix but in the long term will only lead to a vicious circle of deeper depression, more volatile behaviour, and greater desperation. If you are struggling with a gambling addiction, no matter how serious your condition and how devastating its impact has been on you and yours, it is never too late to seek help — and help is out there.

As with any addiction, the process of recovering from a gambling addiction can only begin once you are able to recognise and admit to your condition. When you reach that point, your first port of call should be your GP, who can give a preliminary assessment and discuss next steps with you; you may also wish to consult an addiction specialist, who may have a greater understanding of the specific challenges you face and of the treatment organisations and facilities which may be most appropriate for you.

While it is always recommended to seek professional help, you may wish to attempt to tackle your addiction independently, and a great variety of approaches are available: you can find a huge amount of information online, while numerous relevant books can be found on the shelves of local bookshops and libraries.

Do be careful, however: while many good-natured people have done tremendous work in this field, scammers and con artists are also unfortunately numerous, and you should not make any investment in self-help material without first doing research. Again, your GP or an addiction specialist can discuss these approaches with you and perhaps give recommendations. As noted throughout this article, gambling addiction can have permanent consequences for your life prospects and relationships, and unfortunately some problems you may have encountered may well already be insuperable.

It is vital to minimise any damage done and to avoid doing further damage; because of this the sooner you are able to reach out to help the better your long-term prospects will be.

In the meantime, make sure to visit your GP to discuss any health problems — physical or mental — which you believe may have already arisen, while psychotherapy — even standalone, and distinct from the kind of holistic treatment plan which may be offered by a rehab — may help you approach some of the other difficulties caused by your gambling addiction.

If your addiction has already led to serious financial difficulties, there are various charities set up specifically to assist here while Citizens Advice has a great deal of information on coping with debt. You may also benefit from participation in self-help groups such as Gamblers Anonymous; once again, an addiction specialist should be able to help here. As with any addiction, the temptation to relapse is likely to be a significant problem for a long time after your last episode of gambling — indeed, combating relapse is probably the single most important element of recovery.

A treatment programme such as that provided at a rehab will give you various psychological mechanisms against relapse, as may a psychotherapist specialising in the treatment of addiction. If you do relapse, however, do not despair or punish yourself unduly for it; it is rare for someone to make it through recovery whilst never once having relapsed, and being overly hard on yourself should you do so only makes it more likely that you will sink back into a vicious circle.

Stay calm, if possible reach back out to any therapists or other professionals who have helped you previously, and focus on a positive future rather than the negativity of relapse. Prevention is better than cure, and the best way to prevent a gambling addiction from occurring is never to start gambling! However, if you have already done so you should not feel yourself condemned to a life spent gambling and regretting.

Instead it is vital to avoid engaging in more problematic behaviour where possible. Key steps you can take include among many others recognising your triggers and avoiding them where possible ; distancing yourself from fellow gambling addicts; blocking yourself from gambling websites and apps self-exclusion ; avoiding, where possible, walking past bookmakers or casinos; only carrying the bare minimum of cash; staying away from substance abuse; and having a sponsor or similar individual who you can contact if you feel yourself in danger of relapsing.

Participation in self-help groups is certainly a great help to many, while an addiction specialist can discuss your situation specifically and give advice on how to resist temptation — as well as sharing information on treatment options should you feel that you need that degree of help. However, once again everyone is unique and an activity which is enjoyable for one person may be extremely tedious — or physically impossible — for another.

There is no need to be excessively prescriptive when considering alternative activities; the important thing is to find something you enjoy doing; that does not trigger you or make you think about gambling or other compulsive behaviours; that does not put you on the wrong side of the law or further alienate you from loved ones; and that does not prove too stressful or in other ways jeopardise your stability and mental health. Some self-help groups and charities provide a questionnaire to potential members and applicants worried that they may be addicted to gambling.

Typical questions may include:. If you are struggling with a gambling addiction, and need help, rest assured that help is indeed out there for anyone able to admit to their condition. As the gambling crisis in the UK has deepened and touched more and more lives, so too has the ability of medical authorities and experts to treat the condition become more sophisticated and resulted in more success. Wherever you are in the country your GP will be able to give you advice and support, while addiction specialists can discuss treatment options and next steps.

Do not despair: gambling need not win. Defeating an addiction can be a terrifying prospect, because you may have come to rely upon it as a means of getting through your days regardless of the damage it has done; and because whilst in the throes of an addiction you need not contemplate that damage and its impact upon your future life prospects.

However regardless of how badly you feel those prospects have been affected, and how terrifying such contemplation may be, it is more terrifying to imagine a life spent entirely under the burden of your addiction, and the treatment facilities and networks now operational in the UK are able to help you face your future with optimism and courage.

It is never too late to take back control of yourself and your life; let today be the first day of the rest of your life, and get started today on the road to recovery. If you are ready to ask for help, do not hesitate to do so: contact your GP, an addiction specialist, or a rehab organisation, and explain your situation.

Every day counts, so do not waste another one. No matter where you live, there is a drug rehab center that can help you overcome your addiction. We'll help you find it. Home Behavioural Addictions Gambling Addiction. Problem Gambling Explained. Get Confidential Help Now. Why People Gamble Although this is not the case every society, here in the UK gambling has traditionally been considered a comparatively harmful vice, and betting led by the horseracing industry has been legalised and regulated for many years.

Stages of a Gambling Addiction Although it is crucial to recognise that every case of addiction is unique, experts often divide the evolution of a gambling addiction into a few key stages.

Winning Early on — especially if the first few experiences of gambling result in substantial wins — a gambler may feel an exhilarating rush of success, feeling that they have discovered the secret to wealth and that their own skills and talents will see them triumph where so many have failed.

This may especially be the case with forms of gambling such as poker or playing the markets where a degree of skill can be beneficial alongside pure luck. The initial pleasure they felt may now disappear, with the compulsion to gamble taking over as a result of the impact of process addiction upon brain chemistry. They may begin to spend more and more time by themselves gambling, and relationships and work or academia may begin to suffer, along with their finances.

Causes of Problem Gambling Although the mechanisms through which gambling addiction — and behavioural addictions generally — takes hold in terms of brain chemistry are increasingly well though still imperfectly understood, our understanding of why those mechanisms manifest in some people and not others is still comparatively limited.

How The Brain Gets Addicted to Gambling The mechanism and biology of addiction have been studied intensively in recent decades.

My Gambling Addiction - On The Red Dot - CNA Insider, time: 4:21
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Re: gambling addiction consolation definition

Postby Tusida В» 22.05.2019

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Re: gambling addiction consolation definition

Postby Narisar В» 22.05.2019

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Re: gambling addiction consolation definition

Postby Zulkik В» 22.05.2019

Some examples of gambling behaviors are:. Other studies add the following triggers to the mentioned above [2] :. Thanks for sharing your story.

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Re: gambling addiction consolation definition

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Re: gambling addiction consolation definition

Postby Majinn В» 22.05.2019

Noredia says:. June 4, at pm. Have family members, friends or co-workers expressed concern about your gambling? January 21, at am.

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Re: gambling addiction consolation definition

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Re: gambling addiction consolation definition

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Re: gambling addiction consolation definition

Postby Voodoozahn В» 22.05.2019

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