Gambling is a common activity that involves the risking of an item of value with the hope of gaining a larger value in the long run. It can affect individuals of all ages, but is particularly harmful to special populations. Latino and Asian populations are especially at risk for gambling addiction, largely because of their heightened vulnerability to the effects of addiction. In addition, gambling is often a form of social status for problem gamblers.
Problem gamblers may feel desperate for money
Problem gamblers often have complex financial problems that make it difficult for them to stop gambling. They may have even acted in unexpected ways to obtain money for gambling. Often, problem gamblers experience low self-esteem and may feel hopeless about their financial future. Gambling may be their only means of escape, so they feel desperate for money. This may be due to a variety of reasons, including genetics, traumatic life events, or relationship problems.
Some problem gamblers are extremely good at asking for money. They can use pleading, manipulation, and threats to obtain money to fund their behavior. In some cases, they can even steal from family members to acquire more money to gamble with. If this is the case, they may also develop a substance use disorder or experience extreme depression or anxiety. It is important for problem gamblers to realize that the house has an edge, and the results of a game are not dependent on the player’s skill.
They may seek social status
A study of gamblers found that they tended to have lower socioeconomic status in low-social-support groups. This group also had significantly fewer friends and family members. They also reported more serious problems with their partners, family members, and coworkers. This finding raises the question, “Are gamblers seeking social status through gambling?”
Depending on the type of gambling addiction, a person may seek social status through gambling. It is possible to develop a gambling problem at any age, but men are more prone to it than women. The risk of developing a gambling problem increases as one approaches adolescence, is ethnically diverse, unmarried, and has a low income. People who gamble are most likely to be men, and their motivation is derived from the fact that gambling may provide an escape from negative emotions.
They may have other mood and behavior disorders
There are many ways to help someone with compulsive gambling get back in control of their lives and stop destroying relationships. Depending on the cause of the problem, a person may need therapy. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) focuses on changing unhealthy beliefs with healthier ones. Narcotic antagonists and antidepressants are also common treatments. Self-help groups can be helpful, too.
Gambling and depression often go hand in hand. Depression is a very debilitating disorder. Symptoms of both disorders include lethargy, fatigue, change in appetite, and unhappiness. If a person is prone to either disorder, dual diagnosis treatment may be the best option. However, if the problem is severe enough, the person may require medication. Therapies for gambling addiction can include therapy, medication, and support groups.