Did you know that online betting addiction is a growing problem? More than four billion people in the world gamble at least once in their lifetime and over one and a half billion people gamble every year. It is natural to associate gambling with casinos and the various popular options such as slots, blackjack, poker, roulette and baccarat among others, but Did you know, today, hundreds of millions of people gamble online? The fast-expanding online casino industry coupled with traditional lottery and betting on sports is leading to widespread gambling addiction.
Gambling is a compulsive behaviour and is also known as compulsive gambling, habitual gambling and pathological gambling. The addictive disorder usually develops slowly and has more than one cause but regardless of the cause, a gambling habit is a serious problem and it can ruin your life.
The most obvious effect of this particular addiction is financial distress, which can lead to bankruptcy or debt and for those who do not have much money, this can lead to perpetual debt. Ironically, gambling addiction is partly or wholly fuelled by the desire to make money but only a tiny fraction of all gamblers record a net gain. All others encounter a net loss, in common parlance of casinos and high rollers, the house always wins.
The Growing Problem of Online Gambling Addiction
Gambling has always been tempting. The lure of easy winnings and the fancy of becoming rich is hard to resist, no matter how unlikely the desired outcome may seem and despite the awareness that more people have lost money than those who have gained.
Online Gambling addiction obsession is not a contemporary problem, there are stories from various ancient civilisations across the world when people have gambled away their land, livestock, jewellery and household goods. Now there is an additional enticement in the form of online gambling.
Hundreds of websites host online poker, live casino games, virtual slots and other options. Furthermore, there are different versions of these popular games, promising everything from quick gains to huge progressive jackpots and many players are lured with free spins and plays.
The online casinos gradually draw the players and get you hooked, being unable to deal with the overwhelming desire to win some money and online gambling need is making matters worse since you can get addicted in your house.
The whole experience of betting can be completely personal, and others may not even know you do not need conventional intermediaries or facilitators to gamble anymore. Online gambling is not a traditionally social experience, hence, online betting becomes more intimate.
Common Signs of Gambling Addiction
There are many signs of a gambling addiction and the most obvious symptom is the constant urge to gamble. It does not matter if someone has enough money, time and place become irrelevant, the risks get blurred and even the choice of medium does not have much significance in most cases. Serial gamblers find a way to wager a bet, it could be at a casino or at a bar, down the alley or online. The bet could be a game, a real event or anything that has at least two people willing to wager some money. Moreover, there are people who buy every major lottery ticket and if the urge to gamble is beyond control, then it has turned into an addiction.
The two other obvious signs of gambling are anxiety and depression, the anxiety may lead to aggression and the depression may lead to increasing seclusion.
There are people who are addicted to gambling due to depression, anxiety and lack of excitement in life and the thrill can be as high as getting intoxicated. Also, there are pathological gamblers who do not drink or suffer from any disorder but find the thrill too satiating to ignore, you can end up gambling every night just for the emotional high. It is another matter that they do not always win but they continue to pursue that high.
There are quite a few telltale signs of betting addiction, those who have a family will start to ignore their spouse and kids and addicts often find friends from within the gambling scene. Furthermore, old friends become unimportant and routine affairs at work and home do not interest addicts as much as they should, so any obligations and chores take a backseat. Irresponsibility, forgetfulness and selfishness are common signs of addiction.
Compulsive or habitual gamblers do not realise that they are becoming dependent on the act and not really the winnings. So, they keep pursuing the lost money and become pathological gamblers. nothing other than the lure of money excites them anymore.
There can be other addictions such as alcoholism and unpleasant habits such as splurging the money won and all these can collectively lead to financial ruin and the financial crisis can put everything else in jeopardy. Pathological gamblers have lost jobs and ruined their businesses, spent their savings, parted ways from their partners and have failed in their familial roles. Therefore, it is necessary to address offline or online betting addiction sooner than later.
Seek Immediate Help with Addiction
The immediate step is to acknowledge the problem and it’s not easy for someone who is addicted to accept their reality. Their loved ones have to take the initiative. Parents, partners, friends and even colleagues or neighbours should address the problem.
The easiest and at the same time hardest response to addiction is to just stop wagering money, it is simple for non-addicts to comprehend this, however addicts cannot simply switch off their desire and pursuit for the riches. Furthermore, it is similar to how people addicted to other things respond, for example alcoholics cannot just stop drinking one day and smokers cannot just quit. Those who indulge in other forms of substance abuse continue to do so even when just not procuring any more of the stuff can put an end to it.
Some people try to stop gambling and then end up with another addiction and there are those who start experiencing severe anxiety and depression. Therefore, they develop a coping mechanism, rely on medications and become dependent on them. There is a chance of overdosing with prescribed medicines or over the counter drugs and any gambling addicts turn to substance abuse including alcohol.
It is common for such people to resume gambling just to avoid the complexities endured during the short period of time when they quit, therefore the only effective remedy to habit is counselling or therapy.
How to stop your habit
Gambling dependence calls for therapy for two fundamental reasons;
- A person becomes an addict for some obvious and a few unsuspected reasons, these reasons must be deciphered and understood. It is necessary for a professional psychiatrist or psychologist to diagnose the problem and then dissect it.
- A gambling addict may experience emotional distress or discomfort from the consequences of the negative behaviour of gambling and these experiences may present themselves as anxiety or depression In this instance we may firstly advise you to engage with rehab. However, if after a period of abstinence from gambling mental health /emotional health issues remain persistent and unmanageable, then, at this point we would advise you to refer yourself to the GP to have any organic mental health needs assessed and treated.
The team at Acquiesce want to understand more about your gambling dependencies and then we can decide with you the best option for your recovery. Our friendly team of experts are here for a chat about how you can stop your betting addiction, contact us today.