Welcome to our digital detoxing series! A series on how to stop addictions toFortnite,Facebook,Instagram,porn,Netflix, Youtube,Tinder… Findall the posts about digital addiction. Today, let’s talk about how to quit the gambling addiction.
- What’s the gambling addiction?
- Addiction to gambling, a “real” addiction?
- What’s considered gambling addiction
- How much gambling is too much?
- Some gambling addiction facts & statistics
- Symptoms & Causes of the gambling addiction
- Why is gambling so addictive?
- Possible causes of gambling dependency
- Symptoms, Causes and Signs of gambling addiction
- Problems, impacts & bad effects of gambling
- Some benefits of gambling
- health problems
- impact on brain & mental health
- impact on relationships
- How to stop & quit your gambling addiction
- Main steps and solutions to break the gambling addiction
- Best gambling blocker apps & functionalities
- where to seek extra help?
- To Go Further
- How to help someone with gambling addiction
- Best books about gambling addiction
- Research about gambling addiction
What is the gambling addiction?
Gambling is the act of risking money or something of value on an event with an uncertain outcome, with the intention of winning additional money or material goods.
Addiction to gambling, a “real” addiction?
Officially an addiction?
First, let’s have a look to the DSM-5,the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Does it includes gambling addiction?
Yes, gambling disorder is listed in the DSM-5 as a behavioral addiction under the category of Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders. It is characterized by persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior that leads to significant impairment or distress.
So what means “gambling addiction”?
Gambling addiction, also known as compulsive gambling or pathological gambling, is a behavioral addiction characterized by the uncontrollable urge to gamble despite the negative consequences it may have on one’s life. People with gambling addiction may experience a loss of control over their gambling behavior, continue to gamble even when they cannot afford it, lie to loved ones about their gambling, and may experience financial, legal, or relationship problems as a result of their gambling. Like other addictions, gambling addiction can be difficult to overcome without professional help and support.
What is considered gambling addiction?
There are several criteria that mental health professionals use to diagnose a gambling addiction, which is also known as pathological gambling disorder. These criteria include:
- 1. Preoccupation with gambling: The person is preoccupied with gambling, constantly thinking about past gambling experiences or planning future ones.
- 2. Need to gamble with increasing amounts of money: The person needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired level of excitement.
- 3. Failed efforts to cut back on gambling: The person has tried to cut back or stop gambling but has been unsuccessful.
- 4. Restlessness or irritability when attempting to cut back on gambling: The person experiences restlessness or irritability when attempting to cut back or stop gambling.
- 5. Gambling as a way to escape problems: The person uses gambling as a way to escape from problems or to relieve feelings of anxiety or depression.
- 6. Chasing losses: The person continues to gamble despite losing money, in an attempt to recoup their losses.
- 7. Lying about gambling: The person lies to family, friends, or others to conceal the extent of their gambling.
- 8. Jeopardizing relationships, job, or education: The person jeopardizes important relationships, their job, or their education because of their gambling.
- 9. Dependence on others for financial support: The person may need to borrow money or rely on others for financial support due to gambling losses.
If a person meets at least four of these criteria, they may have a gambling addiction and should seek professional help.
How much gambling is too much?
According to experts in the field of gambling addiction, if gambling is interfering with one’s daily functioning, causing financial problems or strain on personal relationships, it may be a sign that too much time is being spent on gambling. It is important to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction.
Some gambling addiction facts & statistics
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, the following statistics are related to gambling addiction:
- 1. Approximately 2-3% of the general populationare problem gamblers.
- 2. An estimated 4-6% of college students and 1% of high school studentshave a gambling addiction.
- 3. Men are more likely than womento develop a gambling problem.
- 4. The age groups most likely to develop a gambling addiction are young adults and the elderly.
- 5. People with low income and education levelsare more likely to develop a gambling addiction.
- 6. The highest rates of gambling addictionare found among people who play electronic gaming machines(such as slot machines) and online gambling.
Is the gambling addiction widespread?
Yes, there are a lot of people who are addicted to gambling. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, approximately 2-3% of Americans struggle with gambling addiction. This equates to about 6-9 million people.
Additionally, many more people may experience problems with gambling that do not meet the criteria for a full addiction. Gambling addiction can have serious consequences for individuals and their families, including financial problems, relationship issues, and mental health problems.
Symptoms, Causes and Signs of gambling addiction
Why is gambling so addictive?
Gambling can be addictive because it stimulates the brain’s reward system, which releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and motivation. This can create a cycle where the person continues to gamble in order to experience the rush of dopamine release.
Additionally, many gambling activities are designed to be highly engaging and immersive, with bright lights, sounds, and other sensory stimuli that can further increase the appeal of gambling. Some people may also use gambling as a way to escape from stress or other problems in their lives, which can contribute to addictive behavior. Finally, certain types of gambling, such as slot machines and online games, have been designed to be highly addictive through the use of variable rewards and other psychological techniques.
Possible causes of gambling dependency
There is no single cause of gambling addiction, but it is likely a combination of factors that contribute to the development of this disorder. Some of the most common causes of gambling addiction include:
- 1. Genetics: There is evidence to suggest that gambling addiction may be inherited, as it tends to run in families.
- 2. Environment: Growing up in an environment where gambling is normalized or encouraged can increase the risk of developing a gambling addiction.
- 3. Mental health issues: People with mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD may be more susceptible to developing a gambling addiction.
- 4. Personality traits: People who are impulsive, sensation-seeking, or have a high tolerance for risk may be more likely to develop a gambling addiction.
- 5. Trauma: People who have experienced trauma or abuse may turn to gambling as a way to cope with their pain.
- 6. Social factors: Social isolation, unemployment, and financial problems can all contribute to the development of a gambling addiction.
It is important to note that not everyone who gambles will develop an addiction, and some people may be more susceptible than others.
Signs & Symptoms of gambling addiction
Now let’s see if you have the gambling addiction problem.
- 1. You can’t stop gambling: If you find it difficult to stop gambling even when you know you have spent too much money, you may have a gambling addiction.
- 2. Gambling takes priority over other activities: If gambling takes priority over other important activities like spending time with family or fulfilling work obligations, it may be a sign of addiction.
- 3. You lie to others about your gambling: If you feel the need to lie about your gambling habits to friends or family, it is a red flag.
- 4. You experience withdrawal symptoms: If you experience anxiety, depression, or other withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop gambling, you may have a gambling addiction.
- 5. You chase losses: If you keep gambling in an attempt to recoup losses, it is a sign that you may be addicted.
- 6. You increase your bets to get the same thrill: If you find yourself increasing your bets to feel the same level of excitement, it is a sign that you may be addicted.
- 7. You neglect personal responsibilities: If you start to neglect your personal responsibilities such as paying bills or taking care of your family in favor of gambling, it is a clear sign of addiction.
Problems, impacts & bad effects of gambling: should you quit?
What are some benefits of gambling
- 1. Entertainment and Socialization: For many people, gambling is a form of entertainment, a way to spend time with friends and family, and a way to socialize with others who share similar interests.
- 2. Chance to Win Money: Gambling offers the possibility of winning money, which can be a significant source of motivation for some people.
- 3. Economic Benefits: The gambling industry generates a significant amount of revenue for governments, and it provides jobs for many people.
- 4. Skill Development: Some forms of gambling require a certain level of skill or strategy, such as poker or sports betting, which can be a way to develop and improve these skills.
- 5. Mental Stimulation: Engaging in gambling activities can be mentally stimulating and challenging, which can be beneficial for brain function and cognitive abilities.
However, it is important to note that gambling can also have negative consequences, such as addiction, financial loss, and strained relationships. Therefore, it is essential to gamble responsibly and within one’s means.But at the opposite, what can be some gambling addiction problems addicts suffer from?
general health problems
- 1. Addiction: Gambling addiction is a serious problem that can lead to a range of health issues, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.
- 2. Mental health: Gambling can also lead to a range of mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. This is particularly true for individuals who gamble excessively or who are addicted to gambling.
- 3. Financial difficulties: Gambling can lead to significant financial difficulties, which can cause stress, depression, and other health problems.
- 4. Relationship problems: Gambling addiction can also cause significant problems in relationships, leading to conflict, separation, and divorce.
- 5. Physical health: Long hours spent gambling can lead to physical health problems, including fatigue, back pain, and other issues related to sitting or standing for extended periods.
- 6. Sleep problems: Gambling addiction can also lead to sleep problems, including insomnia and other sleep disorders.
- 7. Poor nutrition: Individuals who gamble excessively may also neglect their nutrition, leading to poor health outcomes.
- 8. Social isolation: Gambling addiction can cause individuals to withdraw from their social networks, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
gambling and sleep disorder
Yes, gambling can contribute to sleep disorders or sleep problems. Gambling is a very stimulating activity that can cause increased stress, anxiety, and excitement. These emotions can make it difficult for a person to calm down and relax, which can lead to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
Additionally, some individuals who struggle with problem gambling may experience financial stressors or relationship problems, which can also contribute to sleep disturbances. In severe cases, gambling addiction can lead to insomnia, which is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep, or both.
gambling affecting your brain & mental health: bad for brain and mental health?
Some effects of gambling on your brain
- 1. Addiction: Gambling triggers the release of dopamine, a chemical that reinforces pleasure and reward. The repeated exposure to this chemical can lead to addiction, which alters the brain’s chemistry and can lead to compulsive behavior.
- 2. Impulsivity: Gambling can increase impulsivity, making it difficult for individuals to control their behavior and make rational decisions.
- 3. Stress and anxiety: Gambling can cause stress and anxiety, which can negatively affect the brain’s cognitive functioning and lead to depression and other mental health issues.
- 4. Decreased cognitive function: Gambling can lead to a decline in cognitive function, including memory, attention, and decision-making abilities.
- 5. Increased risk-taking behavior: Gambling can increase risk-taking behavior, leading to reckless and dangerous decisions that can have lasting consequences.
- 6. Financial problems: Gambling can cause financial problems, which can lead to stress, anxiety, and other negative effects on the brain and overall health.
- 7. Relationship problems: Gambling can strain relationships with family, friends, and coworkers, leading to social isolation and other negative effects on mental health.
Some effects of gambling on your mental health
- 1. Addiction: Gambling can lead to addiction, and addiction can have a significant impact on mental health. It can cause anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.
- 2. Stress: Gambling can be stressful, and excessive stress can cause mental health problems. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.
- 3. Financial problems: Gambling can cause financial problems, and financial problems can cause stress and anxiety. It can lead to depression, and other mental health disorders.
- 4. Isolation: Gambling can lead to isolation, and isolation can cause mental health problems. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.
- 5. Self-esteem: Gambling can affect self-esteem, and low self-esteem can cause mental health problems. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.
- 6. Relationship problems: Gambling can cause relationship problems, and relationship problems can cause mental health problems. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.
- 7. Impulsivity: Gambling can increase impulsivity, and impulsivity can cause mental health problems. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.
Does gambling cause stress and anxiety?
Yes, gambling can cause stress and anxiety. Gambling can be addictive, and people who gamble excessively or compulsively may experience negative emotions such as anxiety, guilt, or shame.
Additionally, the stress of losing money or the pressure to keep winning can also lead to anxiety and stress. This can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health and overall well-being. It is important to gamble responsibly and seek help if gambling is causing stress or anxiety.
Can gambling addiction lead to sadness and depression?
Yes, gambling addiction can lead to sadness and depression. Gambling addiction is a serious mental health condition that can have a range of negative effects on a person’s life, including financial problems, relationship issues, and mental health problems. The stress and anxiety associated with gambling addiction can lead to depression and feelings of hopelessness. In some cases, the individual may feel so overwhelmed by their addiction that they may contemplate suicide. It is important for individuals struggling with gambling addiction to seek professional help to address their addiction and any associated mental health issues.
Dopamine and gambling
When a person engages in gambling behavior, their brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with the reward system. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, and it motivates us to seek out activities that give us these feelings. In gambling, the uncertainty of the outcome and the possibility of winning a large sum of money can trigger the release of dopamine, leading to feelings of excitement and anticipation.
However, this dopamine rush can also lead to addiction and compulsive gambling behavior. When a person becomes addicted to gambling, their brain becomes rewired to seek out the dopamine rush associated with gambling, leading to a cycle of increasingly risky behavior. This can have negative consequences on a person’s finances, relationships, and mental health.
In summary, dopamine plays a key role in gambling behavior by reinforcing the pleasure and excitement associated with winning, but it can also contribute to addiction and compulsive behavior.
gambling effects on Focus, productivity, attention span, academic performance…
Yes, gambling can affect focus, productivity, attention span, and academic performance. When a person is gambling, their mind is often focused on the game and the potential reward, which can distract from other important tasks or responsibilities. This can lead to a decrease in productivity and attention span as the person may have difficulty concentrating on anything other than the game.
Additionally, gambling can be addictive, and individuals who struggle with gambling addiction may experience negative consequences, such as financial problems, relationship issues, and health problems that can affect their academic performance. The stress and anxiety that come with gambling can also impact mental health, leading to depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns that can further impact academic performance.
Overall, gambling can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to focus, be productive, and succeed academically. It is important for individuals to be aware of the potential risks associated with gambling and seek help if they are struggling with addiction or other negative consequences.
A word about ADHD and gambling
Research suggests that people with ADHD may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors, including gambling, compared to people without ADHD. This may be due to the fact that individuals with ADHD often have difficulty with impulse control and may seek out stimulating activities to alleviate boredom.
Studies have also shown that people with ADHD may experience more significant negative consequences from gambling, such as financial problems and relationship difficulties, compared to people without ADHD.
It is important to note that each individual is unique and may have different experiences with gambling. However, if someone with ADHD is struggling with gambling addiction, seeking professional help and support may be beneficial.
affecting your relationships
gambling and self-esteem
Gambling can have both positive and negative effects on self-esteem. In the short term, winning at gambling can boost self-esteem as it gives a sense of accomplishment and validation. However, in the long term, excessive gambling and losing can lead to negative effects on self-esteem.
When someone consistently loses at gambling, it can make them feel inadequate, ashamed, and powerless. This can lead to a cycle of low self-esteem and increased gambling behavior as a way to regain a sense of control and self-worth. This vicious cycle can result in financial and emotional problems, which can further impact one’s self-esteem.
Moreover, gambling addiction can also cause feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blame. This can further decrease self-esteem and lead to negative thoughts and behaviors.
Overall, while gambling can provide a temporary boost in self-esteem, it can ultimately have detrimental effects on one’s self-worth and mental well-being.
gambling addiction leads to isolation and loneliness?
Yes, gambling addiction can lead to isolation and loneliness. As the addiction progresses, the individual may prioritize gambling over social relationships, leading to a decrease in social interactions. They may also feel ashamed or embarrassed about their gambling behavior, which can lead to further isolation and withdrawal from others. The financial consequences of gambling addiction can also cause the person to withdraw from social activities due to a lack of funds. Overall, gambling addiction can have a negative impact on an individual’s social life and relationships.
Effects of gambling on your relationship
Positive effects of gambling on a relationship:
- 1. Shared interest: Gambling can be a fun and exciting activity to enjoy together, which can help couples bond and create shared experiences.
- 2. Financial gains: Winning money through gambling can strengthen a couple’s financial stability and provide a sense of security.
- 3. Trust building: Gambling requires a level of trust between partners, as they must rely on one another to make responsible decisions and stick to a budget.
Negative effects of gambling on a relationship:
- 1. Financial strain: Gambling can quickly become an addiction, leading to financial strain and potentially damaging a couple’s financial stability.
- 2. Dishonesty: If one partner becomes addicted to gambling, they may resort to lying or hiding their behavior from their partner, eroding trust and damaging the relationship.
- 3. Time and energy: Gambling can take up a significant amount of time and energy, leading to neglect of other aspects of the relationship and potentially causing resentment between partners.
How To Stop & quit Your gambling Addiction
Finally you think you are addicted to gambling and you are wondering how to quit it? How to break and overcome your cravings for gambling?
Here are the best solutions, steps, supports, resources and help you can get to treat your gambling addiction.
Main steps and solutions to break the gambling addiction
Here are some steps that may help an individual overcome gambling addiction:
- 1. Admit that there is a problem: Acknowledge that gambling has become a problem and that it is affecting your life and those around you.
- 2. Seek professional help: Consult with a therapist or support group that specializes in treating gambling addiction.
- 3. Create a support network: Surround yourself with friends and family who support you and understand your addiction.
- 4. Identify and avoid triggers: Figure out what triggers your gambling and avoid those situations or people.
- 5. Find healthy alternatives: Discover new hobbies or activities that can replace gambling as a source of entertainment.
- 6. Set financial limits: Establish a budget and avoid gambling beyond what you can afford.
- 7. Practice self-care: Take care of your physical and emotional health by exercising, eating well, and getting enough rest.
- 8. Stay committed: Overcoming addiction is not easy, but with dedication and perseverance, it can be done.
Actually, that’s what most documentation out there is about… However, quitting a digital addiction can be a bit trickier than that.
So our team, after testing many ways, designed a bulletproof way to overcome them. Here are some clear and practical steps that are very powerful to quit a digital addiction, including gambling:
1. Purge temptations: Get rid of gambling
First, cleaning your life from temptations is much easier than resisting to them. Disable or delete your gambling accounts, change the password and hide it somewhere you can’t access easily, keep your phone / computer far away… Out of sight out of mind.
Here is a video from our course the The Digital Purge. on how to add resistance to your temptations, so you become so lazy to engage with them that you give them up: