Many cultures offer a type of gambling. From major casinos to local bingo games, the availability of gambling is everywhere at all times of the day.
About Compulsive Gambling
Compulsive behavior shows a need to escape from problems or an attempt to find something that you think is missing in your life. Compulsive behaviors don’t start immediately; they grow over time. In the case of gambling, you may have started gambling at a weekly poker game. The camaraderie, social drinking, and ego-gratifying behavior can be relaxing and fun. In this situation, you were attempting to escape from the stress and boredom of your life by using gambling to enjoy yourself. In an attempt to regain that sense of relaxation and fun, you may seek other forms of gambling. Gambling addiction can begin in other ways, but this dangerous habit can stem from someone’s desire to feel good.
How Gambling Addiction Works
In addition to escaping reality, gambling provides some of the following rewards:
- A feeling of investment – people like to be emotionally invested in activities. Whether that is at work or watching a football game, people want to connect to their surroundings. Gambling provides a level of investment in an activity
- The high that you get from taking a risk – excitement, drama, and victory (at times) are all enticing feelings that a person can get from gambling
- Social interactions – for many people, gambling is a social engagement. Look at people standing around a craps table chatting with each other, back-slapping when the desired result is achieved, and bemoaning each other’s losses. These are complete strangers that are interacting socially, which is rewarding to many people
- Financial reward – while most people recognize that gambling often leads to financial losses, there are times that it benefits users, which fuels the attraction to gambling
Overcoming Compulsive Gambling
When viewed as a tool to escape reality or achieve something missing in your life, overcoming compulsive gambling starts by identifying your needs. Users may gamble for the following reasons:
- Escape reality – stress, depression, loneliness, fear, and anxiety can trigger compulsive behaviors. When you identify which of these emotions trigger your gambling, you will be in a better position to come up with alternatives to meet your needs.
- Achieve something – look at what you are attempting to achieve. Do you want social interactions? Do you want to feel an adrenaline rush? Do you want to feel invested in something? Again, when you can be clear about what you want to achieve through gambling, you can find healthier ways to meet your needs.