The Causes of Gambling Addiction
Gamblers, like all other people who enjoy themselves in the sunshine, like to tell stories about their gambling experiences. A good story, even if embellished, tends to stick in the mind and is tempting to follow. Stories that show a gambler coming out a winner are particularly attractive and people tend to think more positively of a person who wins. However, many of these stories are more fiction than fact and it is important to know when to stop telling your tale.
Gamblers talk about all kinds of things, including their gambling behavior. They talk about losing streaks and winning streaks. Gambling is usually considered to be a pastime, an idle game, or a hobby. Gambling addiction, however, is something different, a behavior that can be treated as an addictive disorder.
Gamblers talking about addictions may have been one of a number of reasons for a friend to become involved in gambling. The problem becomes worse when they start to tell more elaborate tales of how they lost it all or kept it all up for months at a time. Gambling addiction is something different from other addictions because it involves the continuous searching for an alternative to the perceived high. The perceived high is due in part to the reward, the chance to win the game. This reward is larger in magnitude than what would be expected based on past performances.
Other people who seek help with a problem gambling addiction may have begun by playing only at a lower level and progressed to a level where they are dependent on the game. Those gamblers who have progressed to this point are more likely to have a difficult time dropping the amount they gamble because they have developed a strong psychological attachment to the game. Those gamblers who keep up the habit and continue to gamble despite the associated problems often find themselves unable to stop gambling on their own.
A final group that needs attention come from those who are addicted to illegal gambling. While not all states have created legal gray areas, illegal gambling can involve a lot of the same things as gambling done in the more legalized gambling environments. For example, sales tax is charged on purchases made from state licensed casinos and lotteries while wages are subject to state taxation if they were earned in a casino. Many states have created ways of reporting income that is taxed on casino winnings or wage earnings, though many of these states to encourage people to gamble using hard money instead.
Gamblers are very susceptible to outside influences like their environment, past life experiences, and even their own mind. The causes of many gambling addictions are not known, although many people suffering from addiction to see patterns emerging. While gamblers can overcome many of their problems with professional help, those who have more serious addictions may require years of treatment and supervision.