The casino is a world onto itself. There are no windows, no time, but there are blinking lights, and the din of clacking coins and whirring slot machines. Beyond the video poker machines, figures are mesmerized at the crap table. Interest in poker hit new height with televised Florida Hold ’em tourneys. In pamela baer nob hill gazette most of players, this is excitement, recreation, a fun diversion or escape from the ordinary and the opportunity to beat the odds. For others, around three percent of the adult population, it’s an addiction, an endless roller coaster of excitement and hopelessness.
A pervasive characteristic of addiction of all kinds is that the repeated behaviors have led to a range of negative consequences. This might be putting it gently in the case of pathological betting, because someone in the grips of compulsive betting usually suffers severe blows to finances and relationships before seeking help. His or her life may be in shambles.
Usually the compulsive gambler’s denial leads him to trust that the next round will save you the day. Of course, if the numbers come up right, your money or credit won is then “invested” again. Betting addiction is hardly a freshly released development, but the advent of electronic poker and the break-neck speed of today’s slot machines, as well as Internet betting have actually hasten the time it takes to gamble for fun and when it falls into problematic, then compulsive behavior.
Pathological betting, like other addictions, is both a natural and a behaviour disease. While we don’t know all the factors leading to betting addiction, they often times include social, family and psychological elements. We can say for certain that the brain neuropathways concerning the brain’s systems are affected in an persons perception of rewarding experiences. The emotional escape an individual finds in betting could become entrenched.
We have seen from 15-20 percent of patients who suffer from cross-addictive disorders, such as alcoholism or drug reliance with problem betting. Some estimates suggest that 35 percent of those with substance abuse or dependancy also have met the diagnostic criteria for pathological betting at some point in their lives. The SOGS (South Oaks Betting Screen) is the accepted psychosocial diagnostic tool to spot a betting problem and its progress.
Both substance and betting addiction are progressive diseases, and may be seen as an inability to regulate desires (to use or even gamble) denial, anxiety mood shifts and depression and the need for instant gratification. Betting, like chemical reliance, offers euphoric altitudes, which are inevitably accompanied by emotional valleys and usually sorrow and shame. A major difference in betting versus substance addiction is that the intoxicating or drug addict doesn’t believe the substance is the answer to recovery and to his problems, while the compulsive gambler believes the Big Win will be the answer to all his problems.
Betting addictions can also result in symptoms such as blackouts and problems with sleep and hopelessness. Divorce, relationship and work problems, even arrests are some devastating consequences of compulsive betting. A person’s overall health is often neglected, including medical ailments that are ignored. Betting addiction is certainly a family disease, creating a dysfunctional family system that centers around the persons addiction. Children may be emotionally stranded as well as physically neglected. Kids are affected long term too, with studies price 35 to 50 percent of children of pathological players eventually experiencing betting problems of their own.
It is important that whenever chemical and betting addictions co-occur, they are treated at the same time. Like chemical reliance, betting addiction is addressed in alternative treatment based on the Twelve Step Philosophy. Treatment is tailored and takes into account issues of gender and age.
Betting: is it the money?
Some experts, including Medical professional. Henry Lesieur, Saint. John’s University, NEW YORK, who co-authored the SOGS screening assessment, believe it isn’t really about the money, even though money becomes a growing issue. Seeking action seems to be the major traction for many. Being doing his thing may be similar to the most of taking cocaine. “Chasing losses” is term use by habitual players to describe attempting to recoup the betting losses by winning. The action gambler usually wants to gamble on site, at a casino, racetrack, or other “live” venue. Often they are identified by casinos as “high rollers” and received comped rooms and meals. Others, though, don’t gamble for action so much as numb their feelings with compulsive betting, so it becomes the ultimate, albeit temporary escape.
Age and gender as factors
Research by University of Connecticut Health Center psychiatrists published in 2002 looked at players seeking treatment and found significant differences by age and gender in pathological players. Middle aged (aged 36-55) and older players were known to include more women, at 45-55 percent, than younger players (aged 18-35) at 12 percent. Middle aged and older women didn’t begin betting regularly until the age of fifty-five, while older men reported a habit of lifelong betting. Perhaps surprisingly, the women also wagered greatest amounts in the month prior to treatment. Younger players reported most problems with substance abuse, social and legal problems, while older players found more employment-related problems.
There is a cure for recovery
Pathological players, like others who suffer from addiction can and do recover. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, with Realistic Emotive Behaviour Therapy, may change unhealthy behaviors and thoughts, including false beliefs, rationalizations, and self-destructive feelings. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy also helps individuals to meet life alone terms rather than escape painful emotions with compulsive addictions.
A alternative treatment program that addresses the cause issues of addiction as well as any co-occurring disorders is an effective approach that treats the whole person. Continuing care may be essential, particularly for impulse control, as well as ongoing response in support groups such as Players Mysterious. The recouping gambler may also need professional financial advise, and family therapy can help to establish a supportive, healthy family structure for sustained recovery.