The casino is a world onto itself. There are no windows, no clock, but you can find flashing lights, and the din of clacking coins and whirring slots. Beyond the slots, figures are mesmerized at the crap table. Interest in poker hit new heights with televised Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments. For the majority of gamblers, that is excitement, recreation, a great diversion or escape from the normal and to be able to beat the chances. For others, an estimated three percent of the adult population, it’s an addiction, an endless roller coaster of excitement and despair.
A pervasive characteristic of addiction of any kind is that the repeated behaviors have resulted in a variety of negative consequences. This may be putting it mildly regarding pathological gambling, because someone in the grips of compulsive gambling usually suffers severe blows to finances and relationships before seeking help. His or her life could be in shambles.
Often the compulsive gambler’s denial leads him to believe that the next round will save the day. Of course, if the numbers come up right, the money or credit won is then “invested” again. Gambling addiction is hardly a recent development, but the advent of electronic poker and the break-neck speed of today’s slots, in addition to Internet gambling have actually increased the time it takes to gamble for fun so when it slips into problematic, then compulsive behavior.
Pathological gambling, like other addictions, is both a biological Situs Slot Hoki and a behavioral disease. While we don’t know all the factors resulting in gambling addiction, they often include social, family and psychological elements. We can say for certain that the brain neuropathways involving the brain’s mechanisms are affected in an individual’s perception of rewarding experiences. The emotional escape an individual finds in gambling may become entrenched.
We’ve seen from 15-20 percent of patients who suffer from cross-addictive disorders, such as alcoholism or drug dependency with problem gambling. Some estimates state that 35 percent of these with substance abuse or dependence also have met the diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling at some point in their lives. The SOGS (South Oaks Gambling Screen) may be the accepted psychosocial diagnostic tool to identify a gambling problem and its own progression.
Both substance and gambling addiction are progressive diseases, and may be characterized by inability to regulate impulses (to use or to gamble) denial, anxiety mood swings and depression and the necessity for instant gratification. Gambling, like chemical dependency, offers euphoric highs, which are inevitably accompanied by emotional valleys and usually remorse and shame. A major difference in gambling versus substance addiction is that the alcoholic or drug addict doesn’t believe the substance is the answer to recovery also to his problems, as the compulsive gambler believes the Big Win would be the response to all his problems.
Gambling addictions can also bring about symptoms such as for example blackouts and sleep disorders and hopelessness. Divorce, relationship and work problems, even arrests are some devastating consequences of compulsive gambling. A person’s general health is often neglected, including medical conditions which have been ignored. Gambling addiction is certainly a family disease, developing a dysfunctional family system that revolves around the individual’s addiction. Children could be emotionally stranded together with physically neglected. Kids are affected longterm too, with studies estimating 35 to 50 percent of children of pathological gamblers eventually experiencing gambling problems of these own.
It is important that when chemical and gambling addictions co-occur, they are treated as well. Like chemical dependency, gambling addiction is addressed in holistic treatment using the Twelve Step Philosophy. Treatment is individualized and takes into account issues of gender and age.