Most people who gamble for recreational purposes never believe that they could fall victims of gambling addiction.
After all what is the worst that could happen when you gamble occasionally, losing only a few hundred dollars here and there and then returning home without incident. For those living with a gambling addiction however, it is never this simple.
means putting everything else in life second to “the action” – and putting your and your family’s financial well being at risk.
Save Yourself From Addiction
Gambling addiction can cause problems in your personal, professional and social life.
If you doubt that you are an addict, you definitely need to look for gambling addiction treatment options. But there is no need to panic – and you should not feel alone. According to recent gambling studies, 80 percent of the American population has gambled at least once and 2-5 percent of them are at the risk of developing an addiction. Seeking professional rehab help and joining Gamblers Anonymous are just two ways that you can start the road to recovery. However, you will need to be well aware of the fundamentals of this addiction before taking any further steps.
To help separate fact from fiction, here are top 8 myths and facts about compulsive gambling.
Myth No 1 : Sufferers of compulsive gambling engage in gambling every day.
Truth: The frequency of gambling has no connection with a person’s addiction. Pathological gamblers could gamble once in a week or even a month. What signal the addiction is the inability to stop – even when it is causing significant self-harm.
Myth No 2 : Gambling leads to trouble only if you lose every last dollar you have.
Truth: How much money a gambler makes or loses has absolutely nothing to do with the addiction. Monetary loss or benefits of gambling do not act as a parameter for predicting addiction. A gambler may win a jackpot today and lose double the amount the next day or he/she may only invest small amount every time while betting. It is the compulsive nature of the behavior that is the key.
Myth No 3 : It’s impossible to truly become addicted to gambling
Fact: This is one of the biggest misconceptions. Gambling works the same way alcohol and drugs do. Its creates a sense of euphoria and urges the addict to engage in gambling again and again to experience the same thrill. Just like drug and alcohol addiction, the addict becomes tolerant to the senses created by gambling and engages in the same repeatedly. After a point they lose the sense of what is right and wrong and all that matters is winning back the lost money or winning more money through gambling.
Myth No 4: Compulsive gambling is nothing but a financial problem
Truth: Compulsive gambling is a problem of mental health which has financial implications. This is confirmed by the National Council of Problem Gambling. Even if the addict’ financial problems are settled, he/she will still continue to be a compulsive gambler. The problem is not with amount of money lost but it is with the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling.
Myth No 5 : Irresponsible people are the only ones who become obsessed with gambling.
Truth: It is quite natural to believe that people suffering from gambling addiction are irresponsible and weak-willed. But the truth is, anyone can become an addict. No matter how responsible the person is, once the person lets the habit take over, they may even involve in irresponsible activities for their addiction.
Myth No 6 : All those who engage in gambling involve themselves in criminal activities.
Truth: While it’s true that some gamblers go up to the extent of stealing or assault, it is not a requisite. Most often it’s the loss over control that makes them engage in such criminal activities.
Myth No 7 : Compulsive gamblers will take up bets on anything.
Fact: Gamblers have their own set of preferences and taste. They are not likely to bet on other things out of temptation. Although it’s surprising, gamblers have a focus on specific games. For instance a person who gambles with slot machines and lottery tickets might not like to bet on horses.
Myth No 8 : Compulsive gambling is not a problem at all if the gambler is rich enough
Truth: Just because an addict has enough money to fund his gambling addiction doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful. The habit interferes in all spheres of the addict’s life like relationship with friends, family and co workers. The problem is with the behavioral changes that gambling inflicts upon the addict and not the financial consequence.