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Gambling addiction is one of the impulsive control disorders. The gamblers have no control over the drive to gamble even when they are aware that their act is detrimental to themselves and their loved ones. They only want to gamble as that is all that they think of and what they want to engage in without paying any attention to the consequences of their acts. Compulsive gamblers engage in gambling at all times. When one is addicted to gambling, he has no limits of gambling since it is in their minds. People suffering from gambling addiction may not be aware of the disease. This explains why gambling addiction is sometimes referred to as a hidden disease as there are no obvious signs and symptoms that are used to tell about the disease. Gamblers do all they can to hide the disease, for example, they withdraw from the people they love, sneak around and often tell lies about the place they have been to and what they have been engaged in (Torr, 123).
An individual can tell whether he or she has a gambling addiction, if he or she has the urge to hide their gambling behavior since they have a feeling that no one will understand their situation. Secondly, they find it hard to control their gambling act. Thirdly, they do gamble even when they have no money. Gamblers do gamble until they have already lost their last cent and they are forced to borrow money to meet their expenses. Finally, gambling addiction can be observed when friends and family worry too much about one’s act.
Gambling addiction affects various people
The problem of gambling in most times starts with people engaging in small instances of gambling that are acceptable in the society and it continues over the years. Some other group of people remains to be casual gamblers for ages (Young, and Nabuco 78). There are various factors that play a critical role in increasing the likelihood of gambling addiction. The condition is as a result of various biological and environmental reasons. This is the reason why almost all people regardless of the age or gender are at the risk of being diagnosed with gambling addiction. There are also some medicines and extreme head damages that contribute to gambling addiction. This most likely happens when a person has had a brain injury and it it affects the ability to make decisions.
Gender parities also play a critical role for people affected by gambling addiction. In the United States, it is evident that many men are at a great risk of being diagnosed with gambling addiction as compared to women. Many men are more often diagnosed with gambling addiction than women because they do not fear being perceived as addict in the society. According to research conducted, it is evident that for those who have been diagnosed with gambling addiction, men are more likely to start gambling than women who have undergone the same treatment. Men also start gambling when they are teenagers while women start gambling when they are already grownups. Gambling is a problem that affects people involved in various spheres of life. It varies from those who like sporting, buying lottery or slots, those who enjoy going into casinos or being online. It has an effect on the relationship between the individual gambler and the close associates in the society, impede both school and home duties and lead to various financial constraints. Gambling addict may do things that they thought are impossible for a normal human being to carry out. These things are stealing valuables to be able to gamble or misuse of money meant for meeting other essential needs for the family members.
There are various causes of gambling addiction. These causes are related to the chemical reactions that occur in the brain. The natural substances in the mind of a person are blamed for the occurrence of a compulsive gambling in the brain. In this case, neurotransmitters are discharged into the spaces between the nerve cubicles, which make the messages to move from one cell to another. If these chemicals are not released in sufficient quantities, the communication of messages becomes unsuccessful. Serotine chemical is one that takes part in regulation of mood and behavior of an individual (Thakkar, 67). Norepinephrine is one that is released when an individual go through stress and anxiety. Therefore, it is not appropriate to only highlight one cause of gambling addiction. In most instances, gambling addiction occurs as a result of various biological disorders, ways of thinking and some sources of social strains. There are various essentials that raise the chances that a person will develop gambling addiction. People with compulsive disorders are most likely to be novelty seekers.
Psychological and financial incentives for gambling addiction
Gambling in most instances is considered to be an immoral act because it leads to poverty of those who are addicted. At the same time, those who lose a lot of money through the act of gambling are at other times driven to commit various criminal acts such as stealing. Gambling is categorized as one of the major gambling sins. It is a sign of greed and laziness on the part of the gambler as he wants to get rich quickly without any hard work. Gambling is a prohibited act in the United States. A gambler faces punishments of great fines and imprisonment. The state laws have not focussed on all forms of criminal acts but those that can be used to finance criminal offences.
Having a casino can be the most luxurious business to manoeuvre in almost every part of the world. Owning a casino business is highly regulated by the government in an effort to minimize the occurrence of scams and swindling. This occurs despite the fact that the casino operators and the general public may not be aware of the odds involved in winning any particular game. Some of the psychological incentives of gambling include the fact that money is changed to credits or tokens to be used in gambling. This conversion makes it hard for a gambler to keep track of the amount of money he or she has lost (Karson, 254).
Customers at slit machines receive prizes at various intervals. This act encourages them to continue gambling with the hope of securing much better and highly valued prizes. Casinos also offer some prizes to customers that must be claimed within 30 minutes of play. This act keeps gamblers in play for longer hours. The casinos have seats at every slot machine to prevent tiredness while playing. The machines in a casino have been arranged in such a manner that a person do not have to go along a straight line to get out. Various meanders through the room ensure that a gambler spends much time inside the casino and plays more.
Some financial incentives include the fact that there is free bingo given on weekdays. This is what brings in many patrons to the casino in an effort to win the big prize. The people who come in because of the offer end up meeting the cost for expenses. A casino also offers food and buffets at a cheaper rate or they may give them even for free. This idea of giving free food brings people who are interested in food to the casino so that they could spend what they have on gambling games. Casinos also allow people becoming members that give gamblers various benefits depending on the time spend while paying and some amount used to make the customer feel that he has not lost despite the fact that he or she has spent a lot of cash with less gain from it. Member who are treated as those belonging to the high level are given various priorities which include entry to expensive hotels, restaurants and luxurious facilities. The winners who have won big prize in the past are invited back to play with the idea that some of the cash they won will be recovered. Every casino has a department that offers credit to the gamblers using their assets. For this, it is very hard to repay this loan once an individual loss (Gerdes, 276).
Gambling becomes an issue that attracts the attention of various stakeholders when someone is not in a position to control how much money he or she spends. In this play, it is not hard for a person to lose much money as compared to what he earns (Skolnik, 78). Gambling disease can be evaded without becoming a gambling addict. For example, various feelings of stress and tiredness after a tireful day can be relieved through taking a walk or having fun filled with activities which do not necessarily lead to gambling addiction. There are so many other exciting and cheap ways that can be indulged in to prevent any form of boredom. These acts range from doing a lot of exercise, applying sensory relaxation strategies and doing some simple breathing exercises. According to many people the only solution to the deal with gambling is to look into various ways in which an individual can tackle difficult feelings without going to the extent of gambling. This is because even when an individual is not gambling the feelings that gambling could have brought are still in existence. It is, therefore, essential to look into the different means that a gambling addiction can deal with these feelings.
Every individual gambler is exceptional and therefore he or she requires a healing program that is tailored to meet his or her medical needs. It is not clear whether one program can serve all the gamblers. It takes an individual too much effort to own up to the losses that he or she has incurred during the act. It is crucial for such compulsive gamblers to know that the problem that they have is not unique to them alone. There are so many people who have undergone the same experience and have come out successfully. There is a 12 step process that a gambler has to go through to deal with the situation (Stanton, 134). First there is cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on developing programs to deal with changing various unhealthy gambling habits. The theory also instructs gamblers on how to change their gambling habits and solve all the problems that have been caused by gambling. This theory is meant to change the thinking and beliefs of a gambler in order to make the individual change his habits. The first treatment of gambling is the replacement of gambling with other events that serve almost the same purpose for an individual. For example, a gambler can join a sporting team instead of frequenting a casino. To fight gambling cravings can be a hard task. It is essential for an individual to develop a highly supportive network that helps in preventing cravings. It is necessary for the society to chip in and assist a member who has a gambling problem.