The diagnosis ‘Gambling addiction’ is neither a rare disease nor any new discovery in science. Nobody is safe from the risk of having this diagnosis, even if one does not want to admit it. This does not mean that betting and poker have a bad reputation which always pursues them! In fact, in general, all similar cases are alike, no matter what they are. Smoking, drugs, alcohol, and gambling can find a weak spot in our brains and nest there, like an invisible disease. Why do we need to be in need of this? Well, because we are unhappy, unappreciated, controlled in some way that we want to escape from reality to a better place, even if it is for a while. When we are passionate about something it is like air – without it, we die slowly if we do not eliminate the need for it in our minds!
What exactly is gambling addiction?
Like any disease, we assume that compulsive gambling has its description, characteristics, symptoms and methods of treatment. According to the European directives for pathological conditions, gambling disease is an abnormal condition. Along with drugs and compulsion to use or take certain things, compulsive gambling is described as interference in the control of nerve impulses in the human brain. This definition is internationally recognised and is included in the ICD-10 form.
Here is a paraphrased definition of this pathological condition:
‘Strong need for betting over and over, which takes control over the life of the individual.
Gradually, values such as social life, materialism and family get obscure, and paying attention to anything else becomes impossible. This is a state of high excitement and fiction.’
Like all mental diseases, this one is also associated with abrupt mood swings. People feel happy and excited, then they unreasonably start to feel sad and depressed. All this is described as a need for gambling. People who want to gamble all the time are not interested in their social obligations, family relationships, and accumulation of negative credits and sinking into debts. They do not think clearly and are always driven by the idea of gambling.
It is important that one admits the existence of obsessive and pathological condition. The more one tries to hide his/her obsession with something, the more he/she gets dependent on it. Let’s be honest, it takes a lot of courage to admit that you are addicted. With the confession begins the process of treatment or at least the will for it. Here are the symptoms of this condition, which you can keep an eye on in yourself or in others around you:
- Restlessness, constant need of being engaged with something. When there is a fiction, the brain is excited and the activity increases;
- Money becomes very important, more than usual. This symptom is somewhat controversial, as many fictions are related to it;
- Need for competition. To love sports is one thing, but the constant need for competition and victory is another, and it may lead to an issue;
- Constant need for placing bets and reckless and sharp increase of the betting amounts;
- Irritability, mood swings and concentrating only on gambling;
- Funding your hobby, regardless of how it was acquired.
- Affection of loss and constant attempts to restore it recklessly;
- Problems in the family, because of the lack of money;
*These include some serious crimes such as theft, robbery, fraud; taking loans or those of friends and acquaintances;
These are some of the most prominent symptoms of compulsive gambling, but many other small details accompany them.
What types of people are prone to be affected?
Before I outline the profile of the person prone to this serious condition, it is important to mention that professional gambling and social gambling are entirely different concepts. Here we need to mention only problematic cases.
Prone to gambling people, contrary to the expectations, can be anyone. These are people who seek quick profits, or simply a way to pass the time. .Adventurers of all kinds are also highly threatened by getting susceptible to this condition. The desire of the thrill, the anticipation of the moment and the culmination are always feelings that chase people who do it often.
The most prone to gambling without a self-set limit are usually men around 30 years living in big cities. Middle-aged women also represent a significant portion of the ones who suffer. In terms of percentages, 2%-3% of the population suffers from betting problems, and 1% demonstrate the so-called abnormal behaviour in terms of gambling.
Consequences of any kind of similar problem are severe. One cannot remove with ease something that has controlled his/her life for years. Like the way children are amazed by the rollercoasters, teens by alcohol, bettors are amazed by the power of his/her actions when he/she wins or loses. Only one win and one single bet are enough to unlock in each of us the routine of fiction. When winning, our fantasy starts to work – I will buy a car, house, I will go on holiday and many other things that we cannot afford straight away.
Consequences are lurking from any corner –lack of money or having high amounts, asking family and friends for loans; these result in even stronger fiction and affect. One who gambles would do almost anything to have the means to continue. It all depends on us how far we will go with this! Small thefts, family scandals, sinking into debts, scenarios perhaps and hopefully not familiar to many, all of them justified and explained with one word ‘Gamble’.
The word itself is somehow equivalent to “>NEED” very acute and strong need over which we have lost any control. Like the warnings written on the cigarette boxes – ‘Smoking can seriously harm your health’, gambling warnings also cannot affect people straight away. People may end up close to the depths of fear, insecurity and especially into the denial of the existence of a problem! You constantly chase something, and there isn’t anything to chase after all. In poker, this state is known with the term ‘tilt.’
How to overcome this problem?
In order to answer this question we first need to answer the following questions:
- How to overcome our wrong self-evaluation?
- How to overcome fear of commitment?
- How to control our uncontrollable state of excitement?
These are the three conditions that make us prone to addiction. If we overcome them, we will be able to overcome our problem as well. It depends on how deep we have come so far! The process is never smooth and easy, on the contrary – the road of overcoming the condition is harsh; but hopefully full of successes.
The scary truth is that more than 25% of gambling addicts seek help too late. Even more shocking is the fact that gamblers can demonstrate personality disorders in the process of treatment. Thus, barriers and obstacles in the treatment are considerable.
Some people either stop playing at all or lose overall control. So, how can you fight something greater than you, your sense of real self-evaluation and your will? The answer is one – by admitting there is a problem! This is the first and the most essential step towards successful treatment.
Afterwards, there is a period of temptations that test the will and the decision never to bet again. Because once you bet again, you will open the ‘Pandora’s Box’ and all those fears will overtake you in a tenfold size! The road of treatment of addiction, be it gambling or not is never straightforward. There is no formula for successful treatment, and there is no formula to escape. To combat compulsive gambling, we must admit its existence and its obsession. Only then do we have the chance to overcome it!
The human mind is a complex system and combined with the chaos of emotions, one treatment can be a complicated process – social, family and highly personal. Treatment options are two – external and internal. In the early stages, one can be helped by visiting psychotherapy sessions or special clinics.
Are there any places that can help in overcoming compulsive gambling?
There are specialised programs to fight compulsive gambling almost in all countries around the world. Unfortunately, this fiction of the mind is becoming more widespread and gains more victims. Is it because chimaera attracts us or because we need another unconventional life, it depends on the individual, but the harsh truth is that more and more people gamble abnormally.
What is the alternative treatment?
In many European countries, there are psycho-social rehabilitation programs. Thanks to them, many people are also healed. It is difficult, however, to admit to you the dependency on something and maybe it is impossible to admit it in front of others! A tip from us – gain control over this fiction immediately, because every minute is crucial. A pathological condition can control you fully, and it is often irreversible!
Useful sites where you can find valuable information on overcoming compulsive gambling:
7 tips from Efirbet.com to avoid such a problem!
- Always inform yourself – the more you read and know, the more you avoid any dependency.
- Place limitations – limit yourself and avoid temptation;
- Never get distressed – no matter how serious, this condition can be overcome;
- Place family and social life before anything else – Your family and your social life are more important than anything;
- Do not aim high – everything is fleeting and subject to change, so make sure to set accomplishable goals;
- Accept anything calmly – a piece of mind is essential to overcome any condition
- Don’t focus on your vices – anyone has positive and negative traits! Focus on your pluses!
Gambling addiction diagnosis is real. It is a human weakness. It is not the game itself that tempts us, but the meaning that everyone puts in it. To bet and to want to win is normal. Dreaming about material things also, but the placement of limits is a must! If we look at things realistically, we cannot go into a chimerical dependence. Only we can control our will and emotions whenever we want.
There is loads of information about compulsive gambling online that is full of terms, definitions and tips, but the truth is that there is no universal recipe for anything, even for such a serious problem. Individuals are complicated, especially in mental terms. Undercurrent aspirations and anger can turn against us with enormous force. So, first you have to admit to yourself what you are and then you can admit to others as well! Do not be dependent, do not become a victim seeking for redemption! Look for happiness; seek it everywhere around you, because happiness exists when it is shared!