When most people think of addiction, they think of things such as drugs or alcohol, but it comes in many forms. One of the most notorious is a gambling addiction. Many people are attracted to gambling because it offers thrill, power and risks. Some use it as a way of socializing, while others enjoy it because it can help them relieve stress. However, there is a dark side to this seemingly harmless activity.
The Dark Side of Gambling
Gambling is a multibillion dollar business that has been in existence for centuries. Both today and in the past it has been outlawed in many jurisdictions and has historically been associated with organized crime. Gambling has a timeless attraction for many because it offers them the chance to win big and become rich within a short period of time without the hard work and sacrifice that is normally required to gain riches without inheriting it.
Of course, the mathematical probability of hitting the jack pot is abysmally low for most, and casinos are well aware of this, structuring their business in such a manner that by the time someone does win a jackpot, the house has already collected many times that amount. Then the winner is heavily advertised in the media to attract more clients, most of which who will lose. This is why it is often said regarding gambling that the “house always wins.”
A Gambling Addiction Is A Mental Disorder
There are strong similarities between gambling, alcohol and drug addiction. It isn’t unusual for an individual to be addicted to all three simultaneously. In each case the person has a mental health issue that must be addressed. The worst mistake one can make is exchanging one addiction for another (becoming addicted to gambling to end alcohol addiction, for instance). This simply doesn’t work.
Once a person becomes addicted to gambling, it becomes a Pandora’s Box which releases a whole host of other problems. Finances become strained, because the gambler spends more money in the casino than they do taking care of their family or personal responsibilities. This in turn leads to bankruptcy, job loss and divorce. The credit score of many gambling addicts will tank, meaning that legitimate banks will not lend money to them, not even a credit card, since they will max it out while gambling. As a result, it is common for gambling addicts to wind up in debt to loan sharks who don’t ask nicely when they fail to pay what they owe.
To overcome gambling addiction, you must first recognize that you have it. Once you do, you can then get the help you need. An addiction to gambling implies an underlying mental health disorder and this is where you must concentrate your energy. Getting therapy from a mental health professional will help you deal with the root causes of your gambling addiction and this in conjunction with staying out of the casino is the best way to overcome gambling addiction for good.