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What is Gambling Addiction?

Addiction to gambling

Find out what a gambling addiction really is!

So, what is gambling addiction? Gambling addiction is a type of mental disorder that is based on an impulse control problem. A gambling addiction is also referred to as compulsive gambling and pathological gambling. Betting on sports, playing lottery tickets, playing poker, slot machines, dice, roulette, card games and other activities that a person can bet on are different types of ways to gamble. Some people with a gambling addiction prefer to gamble in a casino while others will participate in gambling activities on the Internet or at different social events.

Both men and women participate in gambling, but it has been shown there are a higher number of men that participate in the activity. Men tend to be more of risk takers than many women. However, when women have the disorder, they will tend to become addicted to gambling faster than men.

Common Misunderstandings About Gambling Addiction

There are a few misunderstandings about gambling addictions that need to be cleared up. The most common misunderstanding, is to have an addition to gambling, the person must gamble frequently. This isn’t true because there are many people who can gamble frequently and it doesn’t cause them troubles. Gambling is only a problem when it causes problems in a person’s life.

Another misconception that is brought up is that a person doesn’t have a gambling problem if they can afford to gamble. While they may be able to “afford” to gamble, their gambling issues may cause problems in other areas. Gambling can affect their relationships, lead them to other addictions and cause personal and professional havoc in their lives.

Quick financial fixes to help an addicted gambler will cure their problem is another misconception that many people believe. The problem here is not only the debt that they have brought upon themselves but how their brain is responding to their addiction to gambling. A quick fix will not fix the problem but enable it and make the gambling problem worse.

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Signs Of A Gambling Addiction

There are some signs that can help a person determine if either themselves or a loved one may have a gambling addiction. If they feel the need to be secretive about gambling, then there is a problem. Once a person start to feel they have something to hide, there is a red flag that should go up about an addiction starting.

Another sign of a gambling addiction is when the person starts to gamble even if they don’t have any money left. Depending on what they are gambling and who they are gambling with, they may be able to gamble future earning, material items and even more riskier things, like sexual behaviors with their body.

If you or someone you know is having difficulties with gambling, it is important to speak to them and help them find the resources they need. This isn’t a process that can be treated overnight but with professional help, it is manageable.

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Resource Box:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/compulsivegambling.html