Why do people become gambling addicts? Not everyone who places a bet will become addicted but there are some common aspects that could contribute to gambling becoming all consuming in your life.
Stress – is a familiar component in many types of addiction. Relationship problems, death of a loved one, work and money worries are all symptoms that can be a short term liberation. Unfortunately, in the long term it can become a stress giver creating a merry-go-round of money loss, lies and deception.
Filling the time – those who are lonely or board may decide to take up gambling as a social pursuit in order to meet new people or take up time.
Adrenalin Rush – gambling is a thrill and some people get addicted to the adrenalin rush. The stakes can be high as their lives are taken over by the feeling and could result in relationship breakdowns and a lot of debt.
Easy to do – gambling is really easy to do in these modern times and the temptation in everywhere. This temptation is available for the elderly through nursing home bingo events, online bingo apps and even for school children through fund raising raffles.
Alcohol Problems and Depression – It is suggested that nearly half of gambling addicts have issues with alcohol and they are more likely to suffer with depression.
Dopamine – is the pleasure chemical released by the brain when we have a great experience, such as winning a bet. Dopamine makes us want to feel more pleasure and for some more Dopamine needs to be released for them to experience the feeling of pleasure. This can lead to a risk of addictive behaviour.
A gambling addiction is not easy to spot. It is quite effortless for the addict to be secretive about the frequency and the amount they gamble. Sufferers will not be honest about their gambling activities and usually say they are gambling a lot less than they are. It is also something that can be undertaken in complete privacy on a smartphone or other device connected to the internet.
Ask yourself the following questions to see if someone you know could have a gambling addiction:
Is the person spending more time alone?
Are they always borrowing money for you and never paying it back?
Do they owe a lot of money to family and friends and you are unsure why?
Are they prioritising their gambling time over that of spending time with loved ones or friends?
There is treatment available and the best place to seek advice is through a GP. Confidential and effective therapy is only a phone call away.