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How Do You Know if You Have a Gambling Addiction?

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A compulsion to gamble, often known as a gambling disorder, is a persistent desire to continue gambling despite the negative effects it is having on one’s life. This suggests you’re willing to put your valuables in jeopardy for an even larger reward.

Gambling, like narcotics and alcohol, may develop into addiction by stimulating the brain’s reward system. The compulsion to gamble may lead to losses, funds being depleted, and debt accumulation if you’ve had a problem with it. So let’s look into some signs that you might be addicted.

Gambling more than you can afford 

Regular players may spend part of their discretionary income on gambling at physical casinos or signing up with new online casino options in USA that are accessible to them within their respective states. However, they quit when their losses exceed the amount of money they’re ready to pay. 

People with pathological gambling disorders can’t control or stop gambling, even after they’ve lost all of the money they have. Losing money on gambling might put a gambler in debt or put the gambler’s automobile or house in jeopardy.

And the losses extend well beyond a simple lack of funds as a result of gambling. Because of the amount of time spent gambling, the gambler’s other activities may suffer as a result of their addiction. 

They don’t take care of their personal connections, as well as those of their families and homes. They frequently take time off from work. Meetings and other essential tasks are neglected. They may also gamble while they should be working, resting, or spending time with their families.

Lying about gambling habits

One of the primary symptoms of addiction is lying about one’s conduct, and compulsive gambling falls into this category. In order to lay the next bet, the individual would go to any extent possible, including lying about what they’re doing and where their money went.

Pathological gamblers even deceive themselves about the extent of their problem. Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon. In other words, cognitive dissonance occurs when people act in ways that are at odds with their core values and views about how they ought to act. 

This psychological distress can be alleviated by ceasing the ‘bad’ behaviour – gambling and its accompanying actions. Addiction, on the other hand, does not follow a rational process. Addicts to gambling will instead begin to tell themselves lies and rationalize their actions, even if the justifications they give are untrue or illogical. 

In order to alleviate the mental anguish caused by cognitive dissonance, this is a normal psychological response. To put it another way, those who have a gambling issue tell themselves lies. It’s not that gambling addicts are innately liars, but the abnormal psychology and actions that accompany their addiction necessitates them to tell lies.

Starts to affect your emotions and moods

A problematic coping technique, gambling addiction is a way of masking bad feelings and escaping from the stresses of everyday life. Negative impacts of gambling, even someone using it to hide their feelings, have emotional side effects.

The brain’s ‘feel-good’ hormones (neurotransmitters), which are part of the brain’s reward system, are produced and released while gambling. Gambling has the effect of making the individual feel better for a short period of time, which helps to alleviate bad feelings. 

It is possible that the act of gambling itself might serve as a nice diversion from worrying about one’s troubles. To make up for the abnormally high quantities of feel-good chemicals created by gambling, the incentive system reduces their levels when the addicts stop playing. 

So, when they’re not gambling, those who are addicted to gambling may feel down, lethargic, sad, and angry. It causes their emotions to become out of control and irrational.

Borrowing money

Many problem gamblers end up taking out loans in order to fund their habit. A credit line, bank loan, or second mortgage will all run out for them. After that, they may have to turn to high-interest loans like credit cards, payday loans, or even illegal loan sharks, which charge exorbitant rates of interest.  

To keep gambling, they’ll go to any lengths, believing that ‘this time’ luck might find them and they’ll win the lottery or some other big win.

Gambling until all your money disappears

Pathological gamblers have such a strong need to gamble that even if they lose all of their money, they will not quit. It doesn’t matter what the repercussions are; they can spend all their funds or even gamble their wages, rent, groceries, and just about any other money they have accessible. 

If you have a gambling addiction, you run the real risk of being broke from gambling.

You can’t physically stop 

Addiction can be defined either by the inability to quit or even control one’s actions. Gambling addicts are unable to stop their habit. For the most part, people try to cut back or quit several times, and they may succeed for some time, but they always return. 

Pathological gamblers can be helped to a point where they can stop. As a result, it is not enough to have the willpower to stop gambling. Recovering from this crippling addiction requires addressing the issues that lay at the root of compulsive behaviour and resolving them.

You or someone you care about may benefit from treatment if you or they are problem gamblers and are also abusing other substances. If you have a problem with both chemical and behavioral addictions, you overcome both by seeking help.

David Tobin did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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