Gambling addiction

It is known that people have been gambling since ancient times. It is also known that some people play all their lives, reasonably correlating the costs of the game with the winnings and losses and just having fun, while others become addicted to the game and sometimes lose touch with reality. Before the age of 5 or 6, the child’s leading activity is play. If a child does not play games or chooses the wrong games, his or her condition should cause alarm. Since going to school, play activities gradually change to learning activities, and until the last years of school, the child learns skills that prepare him or her for adult life. Age-appropriate play recedes into the background. At a mature age, a person masters the work activity, the learning activity is in the background, and the game is pushed even further away. The gambler violates this priority; he always plays.

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Stages of addiction

There are three stages of addiction.

  • The Winning Stage. This stage, when the player becomes familiar with the game, is often accompanied by big winnings. This is possible due to the fact that the person is still able to stop in time and losses remain insignificant. At this stage, the player gets pleasure and even some profit.
  • The losing stage. At this stage, the costs of the game become more tangible than the income. Debts appear, and with them the inability to stop. There is a discrepancy in thinking and logic. If the player loses, he thinks about how he will come back and win, and if he wins, he goes on playing to win more. There is a certain devaluation of money, it appears as nothing more than chips in the casino. At this stage there are problems in communicating with loved ones, people have anxiety at the moment of withdrawal from the game, displeasure. People also tend to hide their gambling and shut it out for the rest of life.
  • Desperation Stage. Family and professional problems worsen, the person feels that he/she is no longer in control of the situation. Remorse, panic, hatred of others, and accusations, as well as suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, are possible in this stage.

Who becomes addicted to gambling?

There are initial prerequisites that increase the risk of addiction.

  • Low self-esteem. The addict feels that there is a void around him and he tries to fill it, compensating for low self-esteem with some bravado, ostentatious behavior. The addict’s self-esteem is directly related to the lack of acceptance and unconditional love in childhood, and as an adult, what the child did not receive in childhood, he compensates for with fantasies of his greatness. Play helps him in this. 
  • Violations of interpersonal relations. The addicted player is unable to build a long relationship with other people, it seems to him that no one understands him. The reasons for this should be sought in childhood, in the relationship with his mother.
  • Impairment of the ability to take care of oneself. If the person with a normal attitude to the game is able to predict a situation and stops when the forecast is obviously not in his favor, the addicted person has a blunted sense of self-preservation, he cannot think about the consequences of his actions.
  • Violation of the regulation of own excitement. A gambler, having received the first dose of adrenaline, cannot stop, wants more and more.
  • Orientation towards material achievements. If the family’s priorities were the material side of life and were not spiritual education, the child significantly increases the chances of becoming a gambler in the future. 

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