Gambling Addiction Reasons

By Stacey Henry
Roulette table in casino.

Gambling addiction is regarded as a psychological disorder because studies reveal that it affects the brain in the same way as drug and alcohol addictions. These mental processes are often the first steps that lead to gambling addiction, and they worsen it by making its effect more potent.

If you want to know how to overcome gambling addiction, you need to ignore all the wrong information associated with it to understand its psychological effects.

Causes of Gambling Addiction

Some of the reasons for gambling addiction are:

Glamor: Although illogical, gambling addiction facts by psychologists have proven that gamblers keep coming back for more because they imagine it as being glamorous and past time of the elite. Advertising agencies and media also understand this psychology and keep the hoax by creating a sexy, stylish, and trendy gambling image.

Stimulation: Apart from being gambling addiction signs, the need for risks, delight, emotional stimulation, and escape from an often stressful reality can also cause addiction to gambling. The gambling environment is emotionally charged, and the highs of winning or its possibility stimulate the feelings of the gambler. It can also serve as a safe place to escape from the reality of a crumbling life.

Apart from these encompassing reasons, some other answers to the “what causes gambling addiction?” are intertwined with the signs of gambling addiction and are as follows:

Partial Reinforcement: The psychology of gambling addiction does not require constant reinforcement. In fact, gamblers are more likely to persist with partial rather than constant wins. Gamblers generally do not expect to win on every bet placed. This means that when they lose, they do not become discouraged. Instead, they look forward to the next victory. The few times they win motivates them to keep playing while waiting for the big break.

Possibility of Winning: Studies have proven a link between gambling addiction and the brain, just like other addictions. When winners of jackpots are publicized, it often boosts the confidence of gamblers. These success stories increase their belief in the likelihood of their winning, so they are persuaded to gamble a bit more, against all the odds. Success stories of gambling addiction that resulted in wins also significantly increase ticket sales and interest in gambling as more people are enticed.

Substance abuse: A 2005 study indicated the possibility that drug causes gambling addiction as 70.3% of those reviewed were social gamblers, 18.9% presented as pathological gamblers, while 10.8% were problem gamblers. Gambling and substance abuse seem to go together, and one form of addiction can often be linked to the other.

Gambling Addiction Dangers

 Some of the dangers of gambling addiction are:

  • Anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Broken relationships and divorce
  • Loss of life and property
  • Legal problems
  • Loss of jobs
  • Bankruptcy

Warning Signs of Gambling Addiction

The signs that you might have crossed from harmless gambling into being addicted are:

  • The obsessive need to gamble
  • Money troubles
  • Increased drugs and alcohol use
  • Unwillingness to spend on other financial obligations
  • Disappearing without explanation for long periods of time
  • Stops enjoying and participating in previously satisfying activities
  • Restlessness and boredom
  • Mood swings and irrational anger
  • Rotating between being broke and flashing money
  • Ignores familial responsibilities and obligations
  • Appears suicidal or depressed
  • Borrowing frequently
  • Empties nest egg, savings account, and other investments
  • Disregards work, education, self-care, and family
  • Cheating and stealing to obtain money
  • Increased debt
  • Gambling-related legal issues

The above warning signs of gambling addiction are not exhaustive, but you should take them seriously if you realize you have most of the symptoms. Ignoring these signs does not make it go away. If anything, it only makes it worse. These signs represent a danger to your physical and mental well-being. Like other forms of addiction, dismissing gambling addiction can only result in hurting yourself, close friends, and family members. Honestly answering these 20 questions from Gamblers Anonymous would help you realize if you require help.