Gambling Addiction: Understanding Why It’s So Serious
Gamblers across the world have been playing a variation of the game of gambling for as long as there have been casinos. Gambling is simply the wagering on something with an uncertain result with the goal of winning some other thing of greater value. For example, a person may place a bet on a race in order to win money. Like most games of chance, people will place their bets hoping that the final total will be something that they can pay off. Like all games of chance, however, it is very hard to accurately predict anything, let alone win, so the odds of making money off of a bet is relatively low.
Gambling, therefore, requires three components for it to be recognized as a sport: chance, skill, and money. The person who throws the ball whose name means “ball” in Britain is not really playing a sport, but instead gambling by placing their bet, while the person who picks the ball up and strikes it with a bat in baseball is gambling. As you can see, the meaning of the word “gamble” changed over the course of the twentieth century, from being something of a noun (meaning “one who gambles”) to a verb (meaning “to gamble”).
In the United States, however, gambling is generally seen as something that occurs in bars, on street corners, and at gaming tables. This is because, up until the 20th century, gambling was often associated with illegal activities like illegal gambling, illegal alcohol consumption, and even criminal violence. Because the United States government does not view gambling as a legal activity, therefore, there is no reason why the meaning of the word “gambling” should change. That being said, this doesn’t mean that the United States government has never prohibited individuals from participating in the game of gambling; rather, it means that gambling has traditionally been associated with certain social situations, which in turn have given rise to particular terms and cultural expectations about how people should act and participate in gambling.
The main reason that gambling addiction is viewed as a higher risk type of addiction comes from the way that gambling is usually conducted online. Online gambling is a lot easier to access compared to land-based casinos; this means that people who would normally be prohibited from gambling online can do so with relative ease. Since the World Wide Web is a global medium where millions of people from different countries log on everyday to add or remove funds from their bank accounts, there is a significantly greater chance that individuals with gambling addictions will find their way onto the Internet. With that said, the existence of various Internet gambling websites makes it easier for addicts to get a hold of funds to satisfy their habit, thus encouraging more frequent and more serious addictions to develop.
One of the problems with diagnosing the problem of gambling addiction is that many factors contribute to the start of a problem gambling habit. For example, the use of a computer can increase the possibility of getting into a chat room to “troll” or gamble online, which can increase the severity of a person’s problem gambling condition. Also, certain personality traits can be inherited or developed through several generations. While certain genetic factors can’t be controlled, there are still a number of behavioral characteristics that can be expected to contribute to a person’s starting stage of compulsive online gambling.
Diagnosing the right addiction treatment program for an individual can be challenging. In some cases, therapists use self-reporting techniques in which the sufferer anonymously completes surveys about their symptoms and behaviors. In other cases, professionals may perform neuropsychological tests that enable them to determine if a person’s addiction is based in reality or simply manifested through imagination or habits. When it comes to treating compulsive online gamblers, professionals typically look to anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication treatments to address anxiety and depression related to gambling behavior. Other medications are used in conjunction with these to promote long term symptom suppression and treatment for both gambling addicts and those surrounding them.