Is Your Problem Gambling?
Gambling is basically the wagering on something with an uncertain future with the aim of winning some other thing of equivalent value. It differs from gambling in that in gambling, one doesn’t actually ‘win’ anything but can accumulate something of worth, either monetary or non-monetary. In gambling, risk is involved, as there’s always the chance of losing something. Gambling therefore requires three key components to be present: risk, consideration, and a wager. There are many grey areas where the laws of gambling in America differs from the laws on UK gambling.
One of the factors that can influence the likelihood of gambling addiction is the type of activity. People with gambling addictions tend to be gamblers by nature; other factors include the type of people they are around, their social status and financial status, their environment (policies and social taboos), and their history of earlier success and failures. Some people gamble because they have poor self-esteem, feeling that they are unable to trust in themselves and their abilities; others gamble because they are desperate for some sort of validation. A gambler will usually have a pattern to his actions, and may start with small amounts then slowly escalate his stakes. A high risk high reward type of gambler is a strong indicator of possible gambling addiction.
Gambling addiction is a growing problem in the US. As the National Institute of Mental Health has noted, “Gambling has emerged as a distinct and powerful addiction with serious consequences… Gambling addiction is characterized by compulsive behavior manifested through repeated inability to stop gambling after failure… Gambling addicts display a dysfunctional relationship between their brain’s dopamine and neurotransmitter systems… They show pathological gambling behaviour, including impulsive betting, loss of money and relatives, and untreated depression.” These problems can usually be traced back to the stressors in the life such as unemployment or divorce, childhood trauma, or unsatisfactory living conditions. Research has also shown that many problems associated with gambling addiction have also been related to substance abuse. As more attention is drawn to addictions, more treatment options, such as residential or outpatient care, are available.