Addiction to gambling is a major problem in our society. The availability of internet gambling has only increased this trend. The number of online betting games and the allure of making quick money changes the habit from stress reducing to addictive. Many people think that pathological gambling disorders are a sign of greed, while others reason that they are a mental disorder and require immediate addiction treatment. There would appear to be no consensus between the two opposing sides, and there would appear to be no curbing of the many destructive addictions to the many forms of gambling.
Pathological gambling differs from healthy activities in the sense that addicts become immersed in this behavior for such a long time they are in denial and unwilling to change, even if their finances are in ruin or their spouse is threatening to leave them. The thrill of the activity comes to consume the individual’s mind. Some mental experts reason that gambling addicts are not entirely responsible for their actions. While there is some evidence of a chemical dependency within the nervous system in gambling addicts, there is no proof of this theory.
Based on data acquired from counseling periods with gambling addicts, it is arguable that addicts build a tolerance to gambling. The individual’s brain functions adjust to make sure the addict progressively wagers more money each time they gamble. This is similar to the effect that drugs and alcohol have on addicts. Because the mind establishes a tolerance for the usual amount of gambling, it becomes necessary to enhance the wager to have the same feeling of excitement. This can put the individual’s mental wellness and finances under serious strain if it is not addressed.
Another indication of pathological gambling might be panic and anxiety when the addict obsesses over gambling and creates delusions of their winnings. If the addict has a reason to fear that they will not be able to gamble, this can create feelings of panic and anxiety. When the individual cannot have their gambling fix, they experience symptoms similar to a substance withdrawal.
It is also possible for an individual’s personality to become antisocial when the gambling problem goes untreated. This happens when the individual feels it necessary to hide the dysfunction their addiction has produced, making social normalcy a low priority. Taking money from relatives is a common sign of this, or in severe cases criminal activity may be utilized to support the addiction.