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Nonetheless, it takes a lot of time and commitment to become a reliably profitable poker player. Professional gamblers have low odds of developing a gambling addiction.
They gamble in a logical and systematical way with a clear plan and strategy. Their reasons for gambling are also very different from those of a casual gambler.
However, unlike their professional counterparts, these gamblers tend to use illegal practices to make a profit. These players look for ways to gain an advantage over the house and are not afraid of breaking the law to achieve this goal.
They use practices such as fixing matches in sports betting, using marked cards in table games, etc. But they may use gambling addiction as an excuse if their illegal activities put them in a problematic situation.
Casual social gamblers view gambling as a form of entertainment. They often participate in gambling-related activities with their friends, use gambling to socialize, distract themselves from their everyday lives and even to relax.
Gambling does not have a particularly negative impact on this kind of player. Their families, social and work lives go largely unaffected by this pastime.
In comparison to other types of gamblers, casual social gamblers have a balanced and healthy attitude towards gambling. As indicated by the name of this type of player, serious social gamblers are very much akin to their "non-serious" casual counterparts but are much more dedicated.
Gambling is one of the most prevalent types of entertainment and one of the most common ways for serious social gamblers to spend their time.
But it is still lower on the ladder of priorities than family, friends, career, etc. They can control their gambling habits. Whereas casual and serious social gamblers play to entertain themselves, relief and escape gamblers use gambling to block out the negativity of their lives.
This can be anything, including feelings of boredom, loneliness, anger or depression. In the worst-case scenario, they could get addicted. Compulsive gamblers also known as problem gamblers or gambling addicts no longer have control over their gambling habits.
Gambling is the most important thing in their lives, and they are willing to pay any price and make any sacrifice to play even more. Gambling has an extremely negative effect on them.
In the following parts of this article we specifically focus on this type of gamblers - compulsive gamblers, problem gamblers, gambling addicts.
In short, no, it is not. When people first researched gambling addiction, some argued that money could be the main source of motivation for a problem gambler.
And the misconception that addicted people are obsessed with a vision of immense wealth and a lavish lifestyle is not only incorrect, but harmful to suffering individuals as well.
This is not to say that money does not play a very important role in the life of someone with problematic gambling habits, but it is not the source of their unfortunate addiction either.
We address the causes behind gambling addiction in the subsequent sections on biological factors and psychological factors , respectively.
But before that, we look into how problematic gambling habits affect financial wellbeing. The following widely accepted financial cycle of a problem gambler was proposed by Dr.
Henry Lesieur. If you notice any of the mentioned tendencies in yourself, read our article on problem gambling diagnosis and symptoms to make sure that you are not developing any potentially harmful habits.
It is important to note that this financial cycle is called a "cycle" for a reason. It can also be seen as a spiral that repeats itself forever, but each repetition puts the suffering player into increasingly worse life situations until they eventually hit rock bottom.
The cycle can be broken, however, ideally through the affected person seeking help for their gambling addiction, but, if not addressed in a proper and timely fashion, it could lead to being unable to gamble anymore due to loss of disposable income, or even worse, death.
In the beginning, the player has enough money to indulge in gambling as much as they like. Their bets tend to be at their highest at this point. This is especially dangerous for people who have built up a "resistance" against lower bets and can no longer get the same thrill out of them.
A person suffering from a severe case of gambling addiction can easily burn through the majority of their monthly disposable income in a matter of days, sometimes even hours, while chasing a "high".
Sooner or later, the problem gambler begins to run short of money , although they are not completely broke yet. Feelings of anxiety, regret and melancholy are very common at this stage of the cycle.
The concept of " chasing losses " also rears its ugly head at this point. Addicted players may feel compelled to win back what they have lost, but this is highly unlikely to work in their favor and usually results in more money being lost.
This part of the cycle occurs once the addicted player completely runs out of money. The feelings of anxiety and melancholy understandably turn into utter desperation and sometimes even depression.
Depending on the severity of the addiction and their willpower, the gambler may be able to quit completely for a limited time.
However, this can become increasingly difficult to do so, as really serious problem gamblers can even experience withdrawals when not playing as if suffering from substance dependency.
The cycle ends and resets when the player comes across some more money. This money can come from vastly different sources, the least harmful from their paycheck, and in order of increasing concern, by borrowing from their family, friends, banks, loan sharks or through some form of illegal activity.
When it comes to addictions, it is important to understand that they are never caused by a single factor. They are a combination of inter-related factors that create a complex array of triggers, compulsions and desires , resulting in the problematic behavior.
These factors can be separated by origin into the following groups: biology, psychology, social and spiritual influence. For gambling addiction, we are going to focus on the first two types of factors: biological and psychological.
These are supported by concrete evidence and can be blamed for the majority of problem gambling cases. By lifting the curtain on some of the background concepts of this illness, we aim to break down longstanding misconceptions and bring more understanding and compassion into the conversation.
Some have defined addiction as a " chronic disease of the brain ". But this definition is a bit too simple.
This is of course completely incorrect. But this definition does a very good job of giving us several interesting insights. Secondly, the idea that people get addicted to substances and activities is technically untrue.
In reality, they become addicted to the chemicals that their brains secrete in response to outside stimuli. Thirdly, people with healthy brains are more likely to develop an addiction.
Human brains are "programmed" to compel us to repeat pleasurable activities and experiences. These are things that help us survive, such as eating, drinking and making babies.
Psychology and biology experts call these actions " motivated behaviors ". However, the brain can adapt to new stimuli and begin evaluating them as equally important , if not more so, than the ones mentioned before.
This is the biological process through which a person develops an addiction. As the addiction progresses, it further impacts the brain and even makes physical changes to its structure.
Below, you'll find a number of different signs associated with problem gambling. Borrowing money or even stealing money in order to gamble more or to repay debts associated with gambling.
Your gambling habits should never affect your ability to pay for your day-to-day living expenses. As already mentioned, you should only gamble with money you're prepared to lose.
Therefore, you should sort all your bills and other financial obligations, before you gamble. If you're using money needed to pay bills for gambling, you must get help straightaway.
Spending time with family and friends is important and should never be neglected in favour of spending money at a casino. Problem gamblers are more likely to be affected by psychological issues and are prone to thoughts of helplessness and despair.
Like any addiction, problem gamblers tend to exhibit signs of withdrawal such as irritability and anxiety when they are not gambling.
The most telling sign, if you have recognised that gambling is becoming a problem, but have failed to stop, you almost certainly have an addiction.
There is no shame in recognizing that you have a problem with gambling. As with many other people, you simply need some help from professionals.
Of course, the above list is not an exhaustive one, and you could display different signs of a gambling addiction. The main rule to remember is this: if you have any thoughts that you might have a gambling addiction, you should speak to a professional, namely your doctor, a mental health professional, or a gambling addiction charity.
You can find out more about getting help for gambling problems further down this page. Problem gambling can strike anyone, however there are some people who are more at risk than others.
This can be due to many reasons, and we've listed them below. Remember this though: don't think that you can't become addicted to gambling because you don't fit with one of the profiles below — anyone can become addicted, therefore all gamblers must always remain vigilant.
Here are the cross-sections of society who are more predisposed to gambling problems: Men. Men have a higher chance of becoming addicted to gambling than women, although the split is closing.
This is because more women are starting to gamble online. Men generally take longer to become addicted to gambling online, however they also start gambling earlier in life.
Younger people. Behavioral addictions like gambling disorder are often difficult to manage and control without getting professional help.
Addiction treatment centers can help you overcome gambling addiction and teach you important skills aimed at helping you repair problems in your life caused by your disorder.
There are no physical health symptoms associated with gambling disorder. Familiarizing yourself with common gambling addiction behaviors can clue you into whether you or a loved one may need professional help.
Chasing after losses is the most common tell-tale sign of gambling disorder. This particular symptom is marked by the urgent need to continue gambling to earn back a loss or series of losses.
Individuals diagnosed with gambling disorder may abandon their usual gambling strategies to win back all losses at once and may lie to family, friends, and therapists to hide the severity of their addiction.
Those with a mild gambling addiction may exhibit between four and five of these behaviors, while those with a moderately severe gambling addiction may exhibit six to seven of these behaviors.
People who suffer from severe gambling addiction will usually exhibit all nine behaviors. Moderate to severe cases of gambling disorder tend to be more common than mild cases.
Gambling addiction can produce many more negative effects than just financial hardship. Gambling disorder can affect your physical health, mental health, and social functioning, and lead to the loss of important relationships with friends and loved ones.
Tachycardia and angina are common health problems among those diagnosed with gambling addiction. Many who suffer from gambling disorder also tend to experience distortions in thinking surrounding their addiction, such as superstitions, overconfidence, and a sense of power over the outcome of chance events.
Alcohol and cocaine are the two most common substances associated with gambling and binge gambling, respectively.