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People gamble with their money for a variety of reasons. Although betting in moderation at the best online slots will not cause any issues, compulsive gambling is a real issue that can be harmful to our mental health and overall wellness.
Why do we gamble?
Gambling is done for a variety of reasons, including the following:
- The buzz, enjoyment, and high adrenaline level release
- The competitive element – trying to beat other players, the bookie, or the supplier
- The thrill of risk-taking, placing large bets
- To solve financial problems
- A way of escaping anxiety or worries in the game
Gambling that is not irrational
Some people believe that gambling in a secure environment does not exist. Some people believe that gambling, like drinking alcohol, is perfectly safe to participate in as long as certain precautions are taken:
- Avoid high-stakes, high-risk forms of gambling where you run the risk of losing a large sum of money quickly.
- Reduce the amount of time you spend gambling overall. This will allow you to devote more time to other aspects of your life that are more important to you.
- Your spending should be restricted to an amount that you can afford to lose comfortably. When you’ve spent that much money, it’s time to go.
- Give up while you’re still in front. If you keep going, you will almost certainly fail because the odds are consistently stacked against you. Both bookmakers and online casinos rely on this method to attract customers and generate revenue.
When gambling becomes an excessive problem
For the vast majority of us, gambling is a risk-free activity. However, for some, gaming has become an addiction that has taken over their lives and has become a way of life in and of itself.
If you do any of the following, you may be a compulsive casino player
- When you gamble, you risk spending more money than you can afford to lose. If you continue to bet, you risk incurring a significant financial obligation.
- You risk losing not only your job but also your home and other possessions.
- You spend so much time and effort on gambling that you neglect other important aspects of your life, such as spending time with your family or working.
- You may lose your job, become separated or estranged from your partner and children, and also experience changes in your feelings and behavior.
- When you lose, for example, you run the risk of becoming clinically depressed, while when you win, you run the risk of becoming overly excited.
- In more serious situations, betting on it may give you the impression that you are doing something productive, even if it leads you to engage in questionable or even illegal behavior.
- You could, for example, deceive your family and friends about the nature of your gambling activities, or you could turn your gaming habit into a source of income for yourself.
Questions to think about and ask yourself
If you suspect you have a gambling problem but are unsure, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you believe my gambling contributes to my unhappiness at work or home?
- Is gambling making it more difficult for you to sleep at night and concentrate during the day?
- Do I tell lies to other people as well as to myself about the amount of money on the line?
- Is gambling something I do to avoid thinking about my problems or concerns?
- Is it my intention to gamble to make money, to ensure that I will be able to meet my financial obligations, or to find a solution to economic problems?
- Will I borrow money or sell some of my possessions to ensure that I can place a wager?
- Do I believe it is necessary for me to slightly increase my wager if I have recently won or lost?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might have a problem with your gaming.
What factors contribute to excessive betting?
Every compulsive behavior can be linked to a social, mental, or even biological cause. Betting on games brings us into contact with others, especially when we use online gaming rooms. This may give the impression of space, but it is harmful to the behaviors associated with it. Everyone requires social definition and peer approval, and an uncontrollable gambler can find these in virtual gaming areas, real online casinos, bookmakers, and other similar businesses.
Gambling influences not only how we physically feel, but also how we interact with others and our emotions
We can escape our normal lives and the constant struggles we face daily because of it. Our thoughts are preoccupied with the possibilities, the bet, the race, the actions of the other players, the sequence of the cards, and so on while we are betting. It has the potential to consume one’s entire life, providing an appealing and amazing escape from everyday life.
Compulsive behaviors can have a direct impact on the dopamine incentive system in the brain on a biological level
This system regulates our reactions to natural rewards in our environment, such as food, sex, and even social interaction. Repeated compulsive behaviors have the power and determination to transform this system’s cells chemically and structurally. This is possible if the behaviors are repeated. This, in turn, can hurt our physical health. People may no longer respond to traditional incentives such as food, sex, and social communication, and instead, turn to gamble for a sense of incentive. This could be due to the higher potential reward of gambling.
As a result of the social meaning that gambling can provide as well as the emotional relief that it can provide, compulsive gambling can develop. The chemical changes that occur in our brains as a result of these experiences only serve to amplify the effects of this phenomenon. Separating these events into separate categories is a fallacy for the compulsive gambler because they all occur at the same time. Even the most resilient individuals may find it difficult to resist the simultaneous effects of social definition, emotional relief, and a stimulated dopamine incentive system.
Providing assistance toAssisting oneself
If you believe you have lost control of your gambling, there are some things you can do to help yourself, including the following:
- The first and most important step is to admit that you have a problem.
- Find someone you can confide in to discuss your problem. It could be a close friend or relative, or it could be a skilled professional.
- Avoid places and situations that might tempt you to gamble, such as casinos.
- You must learn to manage your money so that you do not waste it on frivolous activities such as gambling.
- If you are unable to complete this task on your own, you will most likely need to enlist the help of another person.
- Take it one day at a time. Don’t get your hopes up that everything will suddenly improve.
- Being in a relationship with someone who gambles.
Living with someone who is addicted to gambling can be as difficult as living with someone who is addicted to drugs, alcohol, or any other substance. It has the potential to be a very stressful experience, and it may even lead to the dissolution of your relationship.
If you are unsure whether the person you are dealing with has a gambling problem, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do they repeatedly state that they will refrain from gambling but then continue to do so?
- Do they disappear for extended periods with no explanation as to where they may have gone?
- Do they blow through large sums of money without being able to explain why?
- Do you try to keep the money from them by hiding it from them?
- Do they lie to hide their gaming or do they reject it?
If you answered yes to many of these questions, they may have a gaming problem.