It is entirely essential to start recognizing mental conditions by defining it correctly. The truth is, a lot of us are not aware of the exact definition of all the different types of psychological illnesses out there. That includes addiction. For most of us, we used to think that addiction only resonates with alcohol and substance abuse alone. That the need for this stuff dramatically influences our ability to function. It is even though there are tons of scenarios that get associated with addiction, such as gambling.
Let’s Talk About Gambling
“Compulsive gambling is a serious addiction that can cause severe consequences.” That is according to Natalia S. David, PsyD. Despite the negative consequences of losing a lot of money frequently, what most of us do not understand is every individual’s interest in what they do. Yes, some might argue that gambling is something that anyone can get rid of whenever they want to. However, that is not often the case. You see, our brain works differently. So the assumption of letting go or quitting on to something that gives us pleasure takes more than just an instant resolution. Sometimes the process of quitting unto it requires a lot of effort and time. In unfortunate events, gambling that results in addiction will eventually need treatments such as therapy or counseling. And that is something no one would genuinely want to happen. At least, not one can easily acknowledge at first.
So why do we gamble? Honestly, it is all because of the intensity of our current excitement. You see, we gamble because of the positive energy we have that allows us to maintain a positive aspect in terms of winning. That explains why we often want to continue betting more every time we end up gaining more. It’s as if there’s a sense of fulfillment that pushes us to try gambling over and over again because of the assurance of a streak. “Because gambling is known to trigger these addiction pathways, it is often considered to be a behavioral addiction – or behavior that can become compulsive over time, causing a lot of harm to people’s lives.” Hailey Shafir, LPCS, LCAS, CCS-I said.
However, that particular scenario is not always the case. Sometimes, the opposite turn of events can become a contributing factor for our gambling addiction as well. That is because the mental torture of losing everything makes us want to bet more to get things even. Yes, we sometimes gamble, not because we want to win. But instead, we choose to get back on those losses we previously made. You see, the opposite is a clear representation of why gambling addiction becomes so rampant.
The vulnerability of gambling lies in winning and losing. Unfortunately, its addiction sticks mostly on the continuation of losing. A lot of us often do not mind what we get from winning, but we often look forward to getting back what we lost. However, that particular mental state leads us to become in denial of our actions and view our gambling addiction as a hobby. But of course, we know it is not at all like that. “Gambling addiction is often referred to as the “hidden illness” because there are no physical signs or symptoms that accompany it as is the case with many alcohol or drug abusers.” As explained by Jeremy Frank PhD CADC, a Philadelphia Psychologist & Addiction Counselor.
For now, we might not consider gambling addiction as something intensely harmful and damaging (not at least). However, the severity of the desire or drive that makes us want to gamble every time is enough to conclude that we are trapped in a mental condition.