What are some of the causes of a gambling addiction? As a former gambler and mental health counselor, I have done a lot of research on why people develop a gambling problem. What I have found is that there is more than one cause of gambling addiction and that although it is important to know the cause, the solution is much more important.
Here are some of the many causes of gambling addiction:
o Gambling is exciting while the gambler is in action. The adrenaline high feels good, and it is quite easy to become addicted to these “feel good” chemicals in our brain.
o Gambling compulsively may fill a void for many people with a gambling problem. This void could be in many areas of one’s life. Poor social life, loneliness, job dissatisfaction, empty-nest syndrome, boredom, and lack of purpose can all contribute to a gambling addiction.
o A big win at the casino is the worst possible event for anyone with a propensity for addiction. The adrenaline high of a huge jackpot can fuel future addiction like jet fuel in a plane. Most, if not all people give back the winnings from their jackpot, plus much more money as well.
o Escape from emotional pain and psychological distress can also fuel a gambling disorder. This is especially true for “escape gamblers” who mostly play slot machines, lottery, or partake in online internet gambling.
o For “action gamblers”, the craving for action and feeling very important to others can fuel a gambling addiction. Action gamblers are mostly male and are usually sports betters, poker players, and racetrack gamblers.
o The thrill of “easy money” can fuel a gambling addiction, especially if the gambling addict has a long string of wins at the beginning of his or her gambling career.
o People with anxiety and/or depression have show a strong propensity for gambling problem as well as other addictions.
o People with first degree relatives with a gambling addiction have a stronger propensity to develop this addiction themselves.
These are just some of the general causes of a gambling problem, however, there are many more as well. In addition, each unique individual will have different reasons for having a problem with gambling, and no two situations are the same.
The most important thing, however, is that once some of the causes of a gambling problem are established, that the individual seeks immediate help for his or her problem.
The solutions, which include abstinence from gambling, professional help, and support groups, self-care, and lifestyle changes are most important in reclaiming ones’ life from a gambling addiction.