Virtual concert stage
The casino is just a world onto itself. There are no windows, no clock, but you will find flashing lights, and the din of clacking coins and whirring slot machines. Beyond the slots, figures are mesmerized at the crap table. Interest in poker hit new heights with televised Texas Hold'Em tournaments. For many gamblers, this is excitement, recreation, a great diversion or escape from the standard and to be able to beat the odds. For others, an estimated three percent of the adult population, it's an addiction, an endless roller coaster of excitement and despair.
A pervasive characteristic of addiction of any sort is that the repeated behaviors have led to a selection of negative consequences. This can be putting it mildly in case of pathological gambling, because someone in the grips of compulsive gambling usually suffers severe blows to finances and relationships before seeking help. His or her life may maintain shambles.
Often the compulsive gambler's denial leads him to believe that another round helps you to save the day. Obviously, if the numbers appear right, the bucks or credit won is then "invested" again. Gambling addiction is hardly a recent development, but the advent of electronic poker and the break-neck speed of today's slot machines, as well as Internet gambling have actually hasten the time it will take to gamble for fun and when it slips into problematic, then compulsive behavior.
Pathological gambling, like other addictions, is both a biological and a behavioral disease. While we don't know all the factors ultimately causing gambling addiction, they often include social, family and psychological elements. We do realize that mental performance neuropathways relating to the brain's mechanisms are affected in a individual's perception of rewarding experiences. The emotional escape that an individual finds in gambling may become entrenched.
We've seen from 15-20 percent of patients who have problems with cross-addictive disorders, such as for instance alcoholism or drug dependency with problem gambling. Some estimates declare that 35 percent of people that have substance abuse or dependence likewise have met the diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling at some point within their lives. The SOGS (South Oaks Gambling Screen) is the accepted psychosocial diagnostic tool to recognize a gambling problem and its progression.
Both substance and gambling addiction are progressive diseases, and may be characterized by inability to regulate impulses (to use or even to gamble) denial, anxiety mood swings and depression and the necessity for instant gratification. Gambling, like chemical dependency, offers euphoric highs, which are inevitably accompanied by emotional valleys and usually remorse and shame. A major difference in gambling versus substance addiction is that the alcoholic or drug addict doesn't believe the substance is the clear answer to recovery and to his problems, as the compulsive gambler believes the Big Win will be the answer to all his problems.
Gambling addictions also can result in symptoms such as for example blackouts and sleep disorders and hopelessness. Divorce, relationship and work problems, even arrests are some devastating consequences of compulsive gambling. A person's overall health is frequently neglected, including medical conditions which were ignored. Gambling addiction is unquestionably a household disease, making a dysfunctional family system that revolves around the individual's addiction. Children may be emotionally stranded along with physically neglected. Children are affected long haul too, with studies estimating 35 to 50 percent of children of pathological gamblers eventually experiencing gambling problems of these own.
It is important that when chemical and gambling addictions co-occur, they are treated at the same time. Like chemical dependency, gambling addiction is addressed in holistic treatment based on the Twelve Step Philosophy. Treatment is individualized and takes under consideration issues of gender and age.