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Gambling addictions happens when a person takes having fun playing a game where they have a chance to win to an extreme level. Instead of being an enjoyable pastime, it is something that they feel compelled to do and typically risk everything to continue doing even as losses amass.
Gambling addicts are not in control of whether they will gamble or not. These compulsive gamblers feel a rush or a high from the experience, and they continue doing the behavior to get it over and over. Both online gambling and real world forms, such as playing poker at a casino, can be extremely addictive.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting these kinds of behaviors, a gambling addiction may be the cause:
These are just some of the symptoms of problem gambling but they are the ones most indicative of a serious problem.
The causes of this type of gaming addiction can be difficult to pin down. There may be a hereditary component; people who have a family history of addiction may be more likely to become addicts themselves. Some research on the subject points to a biological component that makes the person susceptible to addictive behaviors. People who behave compulsively may be doing so because of a lack of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Other causes of gambling addiction include:
You may think that winning a large sum of money or a prize is a good thing for a person who has an addiction to gambling as they're able to recoup some of their loses. However, it's actually a negative event for that individual. They experience a huge rush of adrenaline from the excitement of winning, and want that experience to continue. The gambling addict is likely to gamble away their winnings (and more money besides) trying to keep it going.
Possible consequences of gambling addictions include:
Help for quitting gambling is available from a number of sources. The first step in getting help is acknowledging the symptoms and admitting that there is a problem. A 12-step program, such as Gamblers Anonymous, can be effective. If all that gambling has wreaked havoc on your finances because of debt, joining Debtors Anonymous can also work. Another option when you are wondering how to quit gambling is to consult a therapist who has experience treating this type of addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches clients how to identify their triggers and replace gambling with more positive activities.
Quitting is only the first step. Staying in recovery involves avoiding places where gambling is present, and possibly finding new friends who don't indulge in the activity. You will also need to find new strategies for dealing with stress, since this can act as a trigger for gambling and cause a relapse. Talk to other ex-gamblers
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