Gambling is a form of self-soothing for many people, a way to deal with uncomfortable emotions or to socialize with friends. But for many others, gambling is a way to avoid boredom, a common side effect of work or studying. Other ways to alleviate boredom include exercising, spending time with non-gambling friends, or learning relaxation techniques. Even if you think gambling is just for fun, it’s important to remember that gambling can lead to many negative effects.
Problem gambling is an impulse-control disorder
Gambling addiction has negative social, psychological, and physical repercussions. Although it is classified as an impulse-control disorder, problem gambling is not harmless. People with gambling addiction can experience physical problems, such as headaches, intestinal disorders, and distress. They can also develop feelings of despondency and even attempt suicide. To treat the disorder, it is vital to identify the causes of this impulse-control disorder. Listed below are some factors to consider.
It can be similar to substance abuse
Drug addiction and gambling disorder have many similarities, and both share the same brain areas. Substance abuse disorders require greater doses of narcotics and alcohol to achieve the same effect. Gambling addicts often take on bigger and riskier wagers and gamble more money. Pathological gamblers and alcohol and drug addicts share genetic predispositions to reward seeking, impulsivity, and compulsive behavior. Symptoms of both disorders include withdrawal when quitting alcohol.
It can be fun
If you are old enough to gamble and you play responsibly, gambling can be fun. But it’s not always so harmless. According to Harvard Medical School, about one in four adults is a pathological gambler, and nearly two million Americans are addicted to gambling. Then there are the 6 percent of problem gamblers, who are not even aware of their addictions. A gambling problem can lead to serious problems such as psychological problems, unmanageable debt, and even failing grades.
It can be exciting
People often mistakenly believe that gambling is a fun and rewarding way to spend time. While it is certainly an entertaining activity, it can also cause addiction. People can get addicted to gambling because of the competitiveness and high stakes involved. Gambling can also be used as an escape from stress and financial worries. Generally, most people gamble once or twice a year, but this is not always the case. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent addiction from happening.
It can be addictive
The reward system of the brain is a major factor in gambling addiction. When a person is high on an addictive substance, the brain produces a large amount of dopamine. However, over time, these levels are reduced and the body requires more of the stimulating substance to give the same rush. This is why addiction is a disease of the brain and not a moral failing. Gambling is a very common recreational activity that can lead to serious problems for the person involved.