Digital transformation has brought many advantages to the modern man. Using an internet-enabled smartphone, the user can choose the content that he wants to be exposed to and enjoy at any time and from anywhere. Five decades ago, audiences could not choose the content they were exposed to or customize it to suit their needs or lifestyles. However, digital transformation has become a double-edged sword. Psychologists are increasingly concerned about the gaming addiction of younger generations to the point that some professionals are even wearing diapers because they can't take a short break to go to the toilet! There are other types of addiction related to technology including porn watching addiction, social media addiction, and of course gambling addiction.
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Gambling addiction isn’t an emerging concept as it is as old as gambling itself. Throughout history, many public figures, artists, writers have fallen into the problem of gambling addiction. While some of them were cured, most of them came to a tragic end. The governments of the civilized world have made great efforts to contain and reduce the problem of gambling addiction. Although it was easy to combat this problem when gambling was practiced in land based casinos, it is now much more difficult in the age of open skies!
The history of the online gambling industry dates back to 1996. Although the first online casino started in 1996, European gambling commissions were set up almost a decade after the industry was born. This point also makes it clear that the industry is ahead of all legal frameworks established by legislators. Therefore, it is important to take a look at the methods and ways to overcome the problem of gambling addiction.
Table of contents
- What Is Problem Gambling?
- What Are the Factors that Cause Compulsive Gambling?
- Possible Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
- Causes of Gambling Addiction
- Self-assessment of Problem Gambling
- Tests Results
What Is Problem Gambling?
In short, we can say that problem gambling is the polite term for gambling addiction. Among the people who bet on games of chance and gambling, some of them become addicted to gambling. Just like addiction to alcohol and drugs, gambling can become an uncontrollable disease or addiction with serious consequences for the individual, family, and society. When a person is exposed to this addiction, he has an urgent need to bet more money for many reasons, for example:
- Feeling of pleasure
- Escape from personal problems
- Restore previous losses
In general, addiction is as an urgent need to consume a substance or to drive in some form. Therefore, drinking alcohol is not an addiction, but excessive alcohol consumption is a sign of addiction. Addicts also feel the need to increase or repeat the dose in order to maintain the effect or avoid a deficiency (discomfort, anxiety).
In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association issued a detailed publication on gambling recognizing pathological gambling as a disorder that results in a loss of impulse control. In light of this post and many other scientific studies, doctors have created special, rapid and also systematic tests that a person who is suspicious of his emotions and impulses can try himself to see if he has any problems. Thus, he knows for himself (and the beginning of the healing journey) if he needs to receive support and help.
What Are the Factors that Cause Compulsive Gambling?
There are several factors that cause the development of a compulsive gambling problem. Specialists classified these factors into three categories:
- Too much entertainment
- Trying to escape from life's problems
- Gambling addiction resulting from another type of addiction (e.g., alcoholism).
For some gamblers, gambling can be a source of excitement or an escape from the discomfort of depression, hyperactivity, or even an existing addiction problem.
For other gambling addicts, gaming allows them to feel their “true worth” or to impose their egos as a fait accompli when winning or even expressing their anger freely. In fact, gambling and other addictive activities give freedom to the wildest of emotions.
For the third group of addicts, winning is a sign of success, something that compensates for their failure in their work and social lives. To get to know your true motives for gambling we encourage you to take the test on this page. If you find that you already have addictive tendencies, there are plenty of tools that you can use to get around this problem such as Gamban, Betblocker or GamStop, info here.
Possible Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
The first symptoms of gambling addiction begin to appear even to the people around the player. One of the first symptoms is the deterioration of the material level and the concealment of the reason behind it from loved ones. Thus, compulsive gamblers resort to lying.
Just like the domino effect, the life of a person addicted to gambling begins to deteriorate. The financial condition of the gambler affects his career path and, consequently, his spending on his family is reduced. The problem gambler's nervousness also damages his relationships with his friends and acquaintances. Since the problem gambler often feels that the money he loses is not evidence of his foolishness and haste, he feels that it is a “usurped right” and he must reclaim it by placing more bets.
Therefore, borrowing from their entourage becomes normal. When they can no longer borrow more money, they often have no other choice but to act illegally!
Causes of Gambling Addiction
Regardless of all your preconceptions about gambling and how right or wrong it is, it is clear that when you play, you are playing to win money. Winning is the main goal. However, players do not have clear control over gains or losses. So, emotions move all gamblers, whether they are addicts or not. Certainly, from a purely practical point of view, dealing with money with passion leads to negative results in both the medium and long term. Thus, the longer addictive gambling behaviors last, the more problems they cause for the addict and his family. Even if the gambler tends to be rational, he is still in emotions because he tends to remember the money he won versus the money he lost.
Although the winnings are small in the life of the problem gambler, it pushes him to risk more money while he dreams of making gains that will repay his losses, or even part of them.
The main difference between addicts and regular players is how they deal with losses. Although casual players stop playing, addicts are convinced that they can “come back” and that the tide will eventually turn. This is how players develop gambling addiction.
Self-assessment of Problem Gambling
If you feel you have a gambling addiction, you can do this self-assessment to see if you really have a gambling problem. These tests are a self-assessment created by professionals. These tests are standard criteria for diagnosing mental health and substance use disorders. However, note that they are not official clinical diagnoses, so please rely on them as a guide to clarify whether you need psychological support or not.
The First Test – Self Test of Gambling Addiction
Did you miss work/ study because of gambling addiction?
Do you feel remorse after a gambling session?
Are you gambling in order to pay off your debts?
Do you feel the need to gamble with the goal of getting back the money you lost from previous sessions?
Do you gamble until you run out of money?
The Second Test – the Impact of the Problem Gambling on the Individual's Social Life
Do you lie to hide your gambling activities from your friends/ family members?
Has a friend/ family member asked you to look at your phone or computer?
Do you talk a lot about gambling with your friends/ family members?
Have you noticed that you have been trying to stay away from your friends/family members lately?
Do you gamble on your smartphone/ tablet even in your sessions with friends/ family?
The Third Test – the Effect of the Problem Gambling on the Career Path of the Individual
Do you owe to gamble?
Do you sell your personal belongings to fund your gambling activities?
Do you gamble during working hours?
Have you been under stress or lost sleep due to gambling?
If you answered yes to five or more of the above questions, you definitely need to see a doctor, but if you answered less than five questions with yes, you need to carefully monitor your gambling behaviors.
Although the result of previous tests may not be pleasant for you, it is important to seek help. All too often, unfortunately, awareness comes too late after players have already lost everything. It's important not to be shy about asking for help when you need it. Unfortunately, in its advanced state, compulsive gambling leads to more serious problems. For example, one in five gamblers has actually attempted suicide, yet 2% of compulsive gamblers actually seek help.