Gambling Addiction in the United States
Gambling is a popular pastime for many people, and it is possible to make money betting on the lottery, lotto, blackjack, sports, etc. It can also involve betting on horses or wagers on horse racing. People often look to other people’s gambling mistakes to guide them on how to handle their own gambling affairs. If you have become involved in a game of gambling and been involved in losing streaks that have left you with debts you don’t see paid, you may want to consider consulting with a licensed gambler who can give you some sound advice about gambling.
Many gamblers have problems because they are more addicted to gambling than they are to the game itself. Gambling as an addictive behavior occurs when a person has taken on a higher risk of winning than the odds of losing imply. This higher risk is usually the result of being too attached to a win that they can’t seem to let go of. A gambling addiction is a condition when a person becomes so hooked on the thrill of gambling that it interferes with the person’s everyday life, often causing financial and/or legal problems. The results of gambling losses can be affected by luck alone, as in the strictly random act of rolling the dice or of a ball hitting a jackpot on a roulette wheel or in other gambling games, or by external psychological influences, such as fear of loss, stress, anxiety, frustration, etc.
When a person is dealing with a gambling addiction, they often feel ashamed, self-pitying and overwhelmed by their situation. It can then escalate to other forms of self-destruction, such as theft, drug use, overspending and inappropriate sexual behavior. The addiction causes the sufferer to have a distorted view of their life and an overly-satisfied view of gambling. A gambling addict doesn’t view his gambling addiction as a problem, but rather as an opportunity for them to become more powerful and successful in life. It is because of this self-destructive nature that so many people lose sight of their goals and remain addicted to gambling.
Because gambling behavior is often considered a deviant lifestyle and a sign of personal failure, people who suffer from addictions often internalize their shame and guilt and seek to justify their behaviors. They blame themselves and try to convince themselves that they are somehow “not really” that into gambling. Over time, this begins to change a person’s view of themselves and of those around them, so that their relationships become strained and their sense of self-worth dwindles. While there are a variety of addictions, gambling behavior is arguably the most “lucrative” in terms of its potential for financial gain. It not only allows gamblers to indulge in highly entertaining activities without any investment of money, it also provides them with the emotional boost of feeling like they are actually ” winners” and the seedy underpinnings of their addiction give them additional justification for being and behaving like they are.
One thing that all addictions share in common is that, at some point during the addiction, help must be sought. There are many different reasons that may necessitate such assistance, but the two most common are either a lack of professional help or an unwillingness on the part of the gambler to seek help. When a person is living in the United States, there are a number of organizations that have been specifically set up to offer counseling to people who are suffering from problem gambling addictions. Because of the unique culture and dynamics of the United States, these organizations have been uniquely positioned to deliver the types of personal, psychological, and spiritual guidance that are often lacking in other counternship scenarios. These organisations can also help in the legal obligations that arise if the problem gambler does go to authorities for treatment.
Because the causes of gambling addiction are both psychological and financial, it is important that anyone who is suffering from problem gambling issues find an addiction counselor and not self-help programs. Many of the self-help programs that exist tend to focus on the immediate, day-to-day aspects of life, and do not address issues that may arise over time. This can lead to financial difficulties and emotional stress that can exacerbate the gambling problem. Counsellors can help by offering strategies to manage money and the emotions that may come with gambling. In many instances, the gambling problem will only be addressed for the gambler over time and through a process of gradually increasing accountability.