Gambling Addiction Basics

The coming age has brought with it numerous new pathological addictions, one of them being addiction to gambling. Pathological gambling was conferred with the status of a disease by the American Psychiatric Association back in 1980s. Robert L. Custer, M.D., is a pioneer in this field of problem gambling.

People who fall prey to this addiction are usually those who secure an income by means of blackjack, poker or other gambling activities. They are professional players who visit casinos not for fun sake, but to employ their skills and earn.

Based on their way of playing and the driving force behind it, gamblers can be categorized. For example, while professional gamblers are skillful and good in their game a casual gamblers plays merely for recreation.

The symptoms of gambling addiction are usually hard to identify. Since this disease is different from other substance related addictions like drug or alcohol abuse, the indications of this sickness are subtle. The nearest possible way in which the symptoms of this addiction can be stated is through the “Custer three Phase Model”. According tot his model, the gambling addiction can be characterized by three phases: the wining phase, the losing phase and the desperation phase.

In the wining stage, the compulsive gambler is ecstatic and overexcited with this earnings and is unwilling to quit gambling. Therefore, the addict usually increases his intensity of gambling . However, losing being the other half of gambling, his wining streak is short-lived. Nonetheless, recurrent losses do not deter him as he wants to win again and get his money back. Addicted gamblers suffer from financial stress, loss of sleep, and mental fatigue in this phase. They face problems at the family front. The patient also tends to borrow huge amounts or avail some money making schemes. As the gambler continues to face loss on every alternate day, he finds it difficult to stay away from gambling. Compulsive gamblers may resort to any means to raise funds for their obsession. They become desperate, with their debts becoming unmanageable. Loss of jobs, fight with friends and family, committing crimes or suicidal tendencies define this phase.

The question as to why does one gamble, can not be answered in definitive terms. One of the dominant reasons is the mental health of the gambler. For some people gambling serves as a n escape route from their lives. A compulsive gambler plays for kicks. He is just unable to stay away from it. Many researchers also blame the easy accessibility to casinos. The government and its lottery fund is also widely condemned.

Treatment programs and centers exist to treat this disease. Regular therapy and counseling is an effective and a widely used technique to cure this disease. Various support groups have also cropped up, where the addicts share their experiences and strengthen each others desire to quit gambling. Some groups that fund such programs include casinos and state lotteries. Some casinos lay stress on responsible gambling and have taken steps to make the people aware about his addiction.

However the first step, before undertaking nay treatment would be to acknowledge this disease. With very slight symptoms and effects this addiction is difficult to catch and acknowledge. Hence it helps to be aware to act wisely.

The Raging Popularity of Internet Sports Gambling

Do you enjoy gambling? A lot of people like to partake regularly. They are attracted to it because of the rush of winning and the hope of scoring big. Gambling is all about the surge of excitement. Fortunately, for gamblers a few nuances have been added to the betting game.

Recently, innovative additions like online poker and Internet sports gambling have entered the betting scene. Gambling just became much more convenient. Those who were not very fond of gambling before may just love its new cyber-experience dimension.

Are you interested in Internet sports gambling? This is a welcome addition for football and basketball nuts all over the country. You will love it if you enjoy placing a bet or two on a big game.

However, since this isn’t the 20th century anymore, it’s now all about computers and the World-Wide-Web. This is the only place where you can find such wonderful activities such as Internet sports gambling and online poker games.

My brother takes full advantage of this concept all the time since he is an ice hockey fanatic. He absolutely loves to place a bet on his favorite ice hockey teams. Nowadays, it has become so easy with Internet sports gambling websites. All you need a personal computer with Internet connection and a credit card, and you can place that bet in a jiffy.

You should hop on the World-Wide-Web right now if Internet sports gambling sounds right up your alley. You can now put that bet, big or small, down on your favorite team. However, you must not place bets that you can’t handle. T

his is always a bad decision on many levels. You can get into serious debt, and seriously disrupt your life and the lives of your family. You have to know when to quit.

If you’re not satisfied with Internet sports gambling, then you can always try a variety of cyberspace casinos. Nowadays, there are online casinos that can satisfy your gambling hunger. In our modern world, there is no need to go to Las Vegas in order to place your bet.

Top 10 Reasons To Avoid Gambling

10. The cause of indolence

Gambling affects your life negatively. If you are a regular, you might have missed your work occasionally because of a late night games at the casino. On the other hand, if in case, after a major loss you make an attempt to work you won’t be able to concentrate for your mind will be preoccupied with the depressing thoughts from the loss. Many of the gamblers depend on the “luck factor” and start day dreaming ultimately losing interest in their job.

9. Results in depression and anxiety

Gambling addiction can be the reason of anxiety, depression and a host of other mental problems. The pressure of gambling addiction can generate terrific emotional pain which can only get worse over time. If you are a gambler and you feel anxious or depressed, it is suggested that you seek help right away. Gambling addiction has the highest number of suicide rates. Individuals are overwhelmed by this obsession and become despondent and hopeless, believing suicide is the only way out of the pain.

8. Deteriorates your physical health

If you have been gambling on a regular basis your physical health is at stake. People who gamble impulsively start neglecting their health. Additionally, the stress of the gambling obsession can even cause stress on your heart, particularly after shocking monetary losses. The emotional fall can in fact have an effect on your physical body in negative ways. A sheer game of luck, it will only cause you pain and nothing else. Is it not one of the big reasons to avoid gambling?

7. Makes you selfish, moody and rude

I have witnessed a lot of individuals who underwent a moral transformation to the worse after they got into gambling. The habit destroys the person ethically and makes him moody and rude. The greediness keeps his mind engrossed in the imaginary money, ultimately making him selfish. Inveterate gamblers don’t think about other people. Their only aim of life is to finance their addiction and to win back their lost money.

6. Will make you lose your friends

You might be wondering how this habit of yours will make you lose friends. Well, if you are in a habit of gambling then it is more likely that if not today maybe later you’ll borrow money from them. Chances are you’ll not be able to pay them in time due to frequent losses. This will really cause strain in your relations. In addition, your addiction will make you ignore your friends as you will be preoccupied with gambling. You may then even miss social outings and some very important events.

5. Ruins your family

Gamblers are too tough to reform ultimately turning out to be a loser and having no family. Not a soul wants to be in this world with a gambler who is grumpy, unstable and squanders funds. So the outcome is the spouse filing a case of divorce or just leaving the partner. Many families have been torn apart by this disastrous obsession.

4. Induces crime

Fascination of gambling compels people to commit crimes to support their game. An impulsive gambler never leaves this addiction even when he is left with no money and instead takes on crime to finance his very basic need of gambling. Some people even turn towards domestic violence and torture their spouse on a daily basis.

3. Diverts you from your aim

When your life is all about gambling and just gambling, it then becomes your primary activity. All of your vigor, motivation, energy and inspiration are only gambling related and you tend to lose focus on the main aspects of your life. If you have any special talents or hobbies, it is most likely that these hobbies will not be given priority and you’ll choose to ignore them.

2. Puts on hold all your future goals and aspirations

When you are addicted to gambling, it is obvious to stop thinking about the future. A gambler always lives for the moment and desires only instant gratification to feel what is known as the “gamblers high”. It becomes very hard then to focus on any of the future prospects as they tend to live in a world of fantasy, placing bets and dreaming that big jackpot. Neglecting aspirations and all future goals is living a worthless life and therefore this is one of the prime reasons to avoid gambling.

1. A curse that destroys you financially

It doesn’t take a lot of time to dig up a huge financial hole if you have an impulsive gambling obsession. Gambling can take away hundreds or perhaps even thousands of dollars in no time and add up to your debts. I have seen that people take lots of years to clear the debt and in their endeavor they even become bankrupt, ultimately devastating financial as well as personal life. Money is the reason why we all live and therefore the biggest of all reasons to avoid gambling is to save money.

The Dangers Of Gambling Abuse And Addiction

So, how do you know if you or someone you love have a gambling problem?

First of all it’s important to note that compulsive gambling is a psychological condition that makes people unable to control their desire to gamble. Many crave the feeling they have when they gamble and seek this experience on a daily basis, no matter whether they’re on a winning or losing streak.

Compulsive gamblers may start betting small amounts, but sooner or later start to wager higher bets in order to get the same feelings of excitement they had when they first started playing. Compulsive gamblers often feel agitated and restless if they are unable to gamble and can feel a strong desire to gamble when other aspects of their lives are weighing them down. Compulsive gamblers may also believe that gambling is the only way to pay off debts and keep believing that it’s only a matter of time before they hit the elusive jackpot. Some compulsive gamblers may find themselves lying to friends and families and in some cases stealing money or goods to pay for their gambling habit.

Not all compulsive gamblers will exhibit each of these qualities, but if you recognise just a few of these in yourself or someone close to you then it could be time to seek help.

Compulsive gambling is treatable and there are a number of wonderful organisations set up to deal specifically with this problem.

Gamblers Anonymous is probably the most well-known and widespread and is based on a 12-step program similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous. Members meet on a regular basis to share experiences and listen to each others stories and you will find that there are literally hundreds of Gamblers Anonymous groups situated all over the world. Go to the Gamblers Anonymous website for more information (www.gamblersanonymous.com) or check your local newspaper.

Gam-Anon is another well-respected self-help organization whose motto is “serenity, courage, wisdom. “Their website provides a solid resource into the issues surrounding compulsive gambling and meetings are held regularly. (www.gam-anon.org).

The National Council on Problem Gambling is a government sponsored organization with branches across the USA. The website also has a lot of information which you may find useful. (www.ncpgambling.org).

Other countries will also have their own groups and organizations which may be publicly or privately run. Again check your local newspaper or phone book for more information.

Remember, compulsive gambling is a mental health issue for which there is help and support. If you feel that gambling is dominating your life in a way that is harmful or unhealthy, then perhaps its time to talk to someone about it.