Gambling refers to a number of activities that involve the use of one’s own body to attain some form of reward in return for acting in a certain way. Gambling is often considered to be a form of sport where individuals place their money at risk in hopes of gaining some sort of prize or result. Gambling also involves three components to exist: risk, consideration, and a reward.
Gambling addiction is not as common as other addictions such as drugs and alcohol. Gambling as an addiction has been studied and is gaining more attention as more people are becoming aware of its existence. The World Health Organization states that gambling is a form of recreational behavior that can lead to greater risks of serious health disorders. These include high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and anxiety. The National Institute of Mental Health states that gambling addiction is a progressive disorder that develops over time.
Gambling addiction is considered to be similar to substance addictions because it is based upon the same brain chemical reward system. Because gamblers have more opportunities to gamble, more matches are played and more money is lost. This increases the risk of losing money and the associated rewards lower the reward value. Gamblers are more likely to experience these addictions in response to pressure and competition. Individuals who gamble may feel uncomfortable about their gambling behavior, especially if it interferes with their work, family, or social life.
Most gamblers will experience various degrees of addiction depending on how much they gamble and how often they do it. There are those who won’t experience any type of addiction and are only into small amounts of gambling. However, this does not necessarily mean that you do not have an addiction because those who are only into small amounts of gambling are still at risk of developing an addiction. Gambling addiction has been linked to such problems as poor planning and impulse control. Other problems that can arise from a problem gambling habit include anxiety, social withdrawal, health concerns, and financial setbacks.
Some of the most common characteristics of problem gambling include feelings of anxiety and guilt. Gambling addicts will keep gambling even when there are no real reasons to do so, or when they could be spending their money on more constructive activities. Problem gamblers will also have an obsession with winning, whether or not there is actually a way to actually win. They will place themselves at great risk by playing against odds that indicate that they have an overwhelming advantage.
Most people gamble in an effort to have something to do, to relax, to laugh, or just for pleasure. Many gamblers find themselves picking up another addiction after they have had a few successes at the same game. Gambling addicts are not only aware of the risks they are taking, but also know that their actions will affect people around them. Gamblers are not only aware of the potential loss, but know that their partners, family, friends, and even the law will be negatively impacted by their actions. These people gamble in hopes of having a good time, but end up doing so at great risk to themselves and those around them.