Think you may be a compulsive gambler? Read on to find out if you are.
Occasional gambling, like moderate alcohol use, is an accepted part of our culture and generally will cause no problems.however as with alcohol abuse, gambling to excess is also a weakness that can lead to serious problems.
Having a gambling addiction, or pathological gambling as psychiatrists refer to it, is an inability to stop gambling even when you recognize that it is causing serious financial, family, work, or other problems.
Gambling addiction is on par with alcohol and drug addiction in many ways. Where you lose control over your behavior and commonly lie and or cheat in order to continue their gambling. Unsuccessfully attempting to cut down or quit.
Although a gambeling addiction does not involve use of a psychoactive substance, the “action” which craved is an aroused, euphoric state comparable to the “high” sought by drug users. This aroused state is accompanied by changes in brain chemistry similar to those caused by alcohol or drugs. There may be a “rush,” often characterized by sweaty palms, rapid heart beat, and nausea which is experienced during the period of anticipation.
Alcoholics and drug abusers build up a “tolerance” for their drug of choice and must increase their consumption in order to feel the same effects. Similarly, compulsive gamblers develop “tolerance” for the “action” and must increase the size of their bets or the odds against them to create the same amount of excitement.
About 2.5% of the adult population has some degree of gambling addiction. The rates of compulsive and problem gambling among 16 and 17 year olds are similar to those for adults.
The key difference between compulsive or problem gambling and social gambling is self-control. Each social gambling session usually lasts for a set period of time and involves predetermined spending limits. It typically occurs with friends or colleagues rather than alone. The player gains satisfaction whether they win or lose.
The key to gambling is money management and gambling in moderation. If you think you have a problem, seek help.