Addiction is deadly in almost every form. Whether it’s an addiction to drugs, alcohol, smoking, or any vice for that matter, the pattern of behavior that can stem from this is almost always self-destructive and in some cases even harmful to those around the addict. Sadly, it’s not just mind-altering chemicals and cocktails that can cause people to develop a crippling addiction as research has shown that people have also become increasingly more susceptible to forming addictions derived from gambling.
Understanding Problem Gambling
Problem gambling, or what can be otherwise termed as a gambling addiction, is what causes people to develop a behavioral pattern that can be best described as harmful and, well, problematic. It is a particularly difficult kind of addiction to cope with because of its progressive nature, and what this means is that it often escalates within people and causes them to act in increasingly more damaging ways. Problem gambling has plenty of terrible consequences, ranging from increased levels of stress to the development of intestinal disorders. What this means is that problem gambling is a versatile threat to human health, managing to affect people negatively in physical, mental, and even emotional terms. Perhaps the most distressing thing to consider about problem gambling is not just the fact that it can be so harmful to human health, but the fact that it can even be fatal. Studies have shown that people who suffer from severe cases of problem gambling have exhibited signs of depression and anxiety, and sadly, as is the case with some of the people who are affected with these conditions, things can ultimately lead to suicide attempts, and tragically, some succeed.
What Triggers Problem Gambling
Problem gambling, just like any other form of addiction is simply a force of habit that takes on a life of its own. The people who develop an alcohol, nicotine or any other kind of addiction manage to do so only after a continuous pattern of behavior that causes them to become dependent on whatever it is that becomes the substance of their choice. The same things happen when it comes to developing a gambling addiction. People slowly start to become increasingly dependent on gambling as a source of joy in their lives, and that can lead to the addiction becoming more and more ingrained. As more time passes and as the pattern of behavior persists, what people may find is that they also allow gambling to adversely affect the other parts of their lives, and the things that were once compartmentalized are now merging into one another in what ultimately becomes a highly negative environment to be a part of.
Suffering from Problem Gambling
Once you’re under the effects of problem gambling, several changes to your entire personality as well to your health can start making themselves more apparent.
Starting with the health effects, problem gambling’s impact on the body can be likened to that of being shot with a tranquilizer. What may initially seem as a more serene demeanor being displayed or that of a calmer disposition being exhibited is in reality a sign that something more sinister may be lurking. This kind of change to the body can be soothing and borderline addictive, which is a problem. If an individual begins to enjoy this kind of sensation, then they will likely continue to seek out this kind of state constantly, and thus an addiction is formed.
Once the addiction is formed, it is at that point where a change in behavior may also begin to make it more obvious. Just as with any other kind of addiction, increased exposure will lead to a higher tolerance for the addictive substance being formed, and in this case, it is that tranquilizing effect that comes from gambling. As soon as that tolerance starts to build up, what that can eventually lead to is the individual gambling more just to attain the same sensation that he or she was able to get so easily before. It develops a constant form of pursuit on the part of the addict, and the sad part is that they may never attain what they are looking for. The most depressing aspect of addiction is that there is no way to break completely free once the problem has become deeply ingrained, and one formed through gambling is no different.
Problem Gambling is for All Ages
Gambling tends to be an experience that people take on relatively early on in their lives. Studies have shown that most people get their first taste of gambling at around the age of 18. That leaves more than enough time for these yet to be fully-formed adults to truly understand what they’re getting into and how destructive it can actually be. By the point that they may be able to realize how much gambling may have affected their lives, it may also be too late to undo the effects. A gambling addiction can form swiftly, and without warning, and by the point that a change may be sought, the damage done may be too great as well. With gambling reaching a far larger audience than what it once did, it becomes more important to control it at least somewhat. If it means protecting the youth from the possible ill effects of gambling for just a while longer, then that may be an option that has to be considered, unless society is willing to welcome a new generation of damaged adults.
Recovering from Problem Gambling
Problem gambling is unique in that it is an addiction wherein no chemicals are needed to actually cure the afflicted. Yet since it is addiction, recognition of the problem still remains the first step, and from there, the process of recovery can begin. As one slowly treks the long road to recovery, the only hope is that they will have a support system around them capable of providing assistance, because it can take only one wager for the problem to make it present yet again.