Stages of gambling addiction - what to knowOn this platform, we will be speaking about the serious problem of gambling addiction. Fans of online casinos are hearing this term more and more often. In recent decades, there has been a serious push for bringing attention to a problem that has proven much more serious than expected. Gambling has been considered a form of addiction for a very long time but has now been officially recognised by the scientific community too. The official institutions have started to take notice and nowadays most casino operators are required by law to provide means for controlling this problem and links to organisations better-equipped to help people deal with it.

Gambling addiction is very wide-spread – you would actually be surprised. Many people seek ways to help friends affected by it. The biggest problem is that it can be hard to detect from a personal point of view, so people might be having a hard time realising they have a problem and finding the resolve to deal with it.

On this website, you will find real-life stories about gambling addiction, and how people combat it. We will also be talking in length about some of the underlying causes for the problem and the true danger that it poses.

Gambling addiction is also known as compulsive gambling or problem gambling. For a very long time, it was considered a form of compulsive behaviour rather than a psychological addiction of the same rank as drug abuse. In 2013, the official DSM-5 panel reclassified gambling addiction. It is now called a Gambling Disorder and is considered a recurrent maladaptive behaviour very similar to obsessive-compulsiveness. All those terms mean that gambling addiction has very deep psychological roots and can be considered a disease.

If there are any gambling fans reading this, you shouldn’t be alarmed. We don’t slate gambling as a whole. It is a perfectly fine hobby and even a profession for some people. However, there is a line that many people cross without realising it. There has been a long-going debate just what constitutes compulsive gambling. Nowadays, most official institutions define it as harmful behaviour.

Gambling addicts lose the ability to control themselves. Hopefully you haven’t experienced it, but compulsive behaviour is considered a form of obsession. You focus entirely on thoughts about gambling. Past wins, future games. You start to disconnect from reality. We will show you many examples of people spending unfeasible amounts of money and getting into financial trouble. Law prosecution, failed relationships and even suicide are a possible aftermath of compulsive gambling – but there are also many examples of people way over the side overcoming their obsession and getting back on their feet.

What is worse is that there is also a physiological component involved. The brain grows accustomed to the rush of winning. Gambling addicts often describe the sensation as ‘getting high’. The notorious TV presenter Jeremy Kyle often recalls the stage of his life when he became an addict and compares the feeling to getting a shot of heroin up your arm.

There have been many studies examining whether certain people are pre-disposed to gambling addiction. It isn’t hard to draw a psychological profile. Gambling is a form of escapism, so people who try to run away from problems in their daily lives often seek solace in gambling. The hypnotic nature of slot machines is especially dangerous, but many other activities can lead to addiction as they bring you ‘the rush of the win’. Compulsive gambling is often compared to kleptomania in this regard and related to certain personality and anxiety disorders.

However, some scientists have found proof that you could be genetically pre-disposed too. Gambling addiction could actually be hereditary, so past history of similar problems in the family could give an indication about suspicious behaviours. Many studies show that gambling addicts have lower levels of a chemical called norepinephrine. This chemical is a natural part of our systems which is secreted under stress, thrill or arousal. People who have lower levels of norepinephrine might try to compensate for that with gambling.

what is escapismThere have been many other proofs that gambling can be likened to a chemical addiction. The thought that a habit can be just as dangerous as drug or alcohol abuse is still relatively new, but considering the growing concerns over other ‘unusual’ forms of addiction such as computer gaming, then it is perfectly natural that gambling would also pose a threat.

This is why it is important to be aware. Recognising the problem is the first and most important step. Gambling addiction can be very dangerous in a world where online casinos are just a click away, but there are also many professionals who are ready to help you fight the addiction. If you want to learn more about this disease, then hopefully our pack of real-life gambling addiction stories will help you in understanding the ramifications of this malady and how hard it is to win over it.