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Mechanism of gambling addiction: What you need to know


Gambling is just fun at first, then it gradually becomes a habit and leads to dependence and strong urges - aka gambling addiction. In addition to money and pleasure, gamblers are also attracted by chance, which stimulates the brain, leading to difficulties in quitting gambling.

1. An overview of gambling psychology


Gambling in general only refers to the form of playing cards, chess, buying lottery tickets, scoring or betting, .... When gambling means that players are willing to risk the bet amount in the hope of receiving material possessions of higher value. Gambling can stimulate the brain's reward system in the same way as drugs or alcohol, leading to addiction.
Gambling addiction is the urge to continue to gamble uncontrollably, despite the amount paid for the game and the effects on life. If addicted to gambling, players will constantly chase bets that lead to losses, drain their savings, accumulate debt, or even steal or scam to get money to satisfy their addiction.
Gambling addiction is one of the main factors that can destroy life. Although quitting gambling can often be difficult, a number of professional and scientific treatments can successfully help many people looking to battle their gambling addiction.

2. Symptoms of gambling addiction


Signs and symptoms of gambling addiction include:
Preoccupied thinking about gambling, such as constantly planning how to get more gambling money; The need to gamble with increasing amounts of money to satisfy the thrill; Attempts to control, limit or stop gambling without success; Feeling restless or irritable, getting angry easily when having to quit gambling; Must gamble to avoid problems occurring in life; Get rid of feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression when gambling; Try to get back the lost money by gambling more; Lying to family members or others to conceal one's gambling behavior; Damage or lose relationships, jobs, study and work opportunities because of gambling addiction ; Must steal or defraud to obtain gambling money; Rely on someone else's financial help because you've gambled away all your money and are in debt. Most casual gamblers will either stop when they lose or set a certain loss limit and stick to it. Unlike that, gamblers have to keep playing to get their lost money back and this will cause their wealth to become more and more devastating over time.
Some people with a gambling addiction may automatically limit their play or stop gambling altogether for a period of time. However, if they are not treated thoroughly, the likelihood that they will return to gambling is very high.
If you find that your own behavior matches the above list of signs and symptoms of gambling addiction, seek professional help from your doctor or mental health professional.
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3. The mechanism of gambling addiction


Until now experts still do not fully understand why a person becomes addicted to gambling. Similar to many other problems, the cause of gambling addiction can be a combination of biological, genetic, and environmental factors.
While there are still many people who used to gamble or gamble without becoming addicted, certain risk factors that may be associated with gambling addiction include:
Mental health disorders: People Gambling addiction often abuses other substances, causing personality disorders, depression or anxiety. Psychological gambling may also be associated with bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); Age: Young and middle-aged people are common gamblers. If children or teenagers engage in gambling too early, it also increases the risk of addiction. In addition, there are also many older people who face the problem of gambling addiction; Gender: In general, gambling addiction is more common in men than in women. Meanwhile, middle-aged and older women who have just started gambling tend to become addicted more quickly. However, the ways and psychology of gambling between the sexes are becoming more and more similar; Influence from family or friends: If family members or friends regularly gamble, the chances of you also participating in this game will be greater; Drugs for Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome: These dopamine agonist drugs have the rare side effect of leading to compulsive behavior, leading some patients to become addicted to gambling; Personality traits: People who are highly competitive, workaholic, impulsive, hyperactive or easily bored... are at high risk of gambling addiction.

4. Harm of gambling addiction

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Gambling addiction can have serious and long-lasting consequences in your life, such as:
Fractures or problems in relationships; Having financial problems, including bankruptcy; Face the risk of imprisonment or legal trouble; Reduced work performance or job loss; Weak health; Suicide, suicide attempt or thoughts of suicide. If family members, friends or co-workers have expressed concerns and concerns about your gambling behavior, they should be taken seriously. A common trait of addicts is that they almost always refuse to share and deny advice, making it difficult for them to realize their problem.
The process of quitting gambling can be difficult, in part because most people don't admit to being a gambler themselves. Therefore, if you feel that your life is full of problems related to gambling, you should ask your doctor to evaluate your general health and certain medications you are taking. Alternatively, you can also seek help from a psychologist to combat the urge to gamble. Choose healthy hobbies and be determined not to gamble even once. Gambling psychology will lead to many subsequent bets, making gambling addiction very difficult to succeed.

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Reference source: mayoclinic.org

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