Compulsive gambling is a very addictive disease that can cost you more than its worth. So why do people become compulsive gamblers? In America 2-3% of adults are afflicted by this addiction. Four out of Five compulsive gamblers are men. Over 90% of compulsive gamblers have gambled since their mid-teens. There are many reasons why people become compulsive gamblers. Throughout my paper I will go over many types of research that have been done on this disorder and show you a variety of reasons why people subject themselves to this behavior.
Problem gamblers do not ingest, inject, or inhale substances as chemically addicted people do. Just what is it to which they become addicted? The answer to this question is action. Action is an aroused, euphoric state involving excitement, tension, and anticipation of the outcome of a gambling event. It is the thrill of living on the edge. Problem gamblers describe gambling as “high” similar to that experienced from many drugs. Some experience these sensations when just thinking about gambling, as well as when they are actually gambling. Action also has been described as a “rush” that may include rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, and even nausea. It is not uncommon for problem gamblers to describe being in action as “better than drugs and better than sex.” When they are in action, they lose track of time and sleep; food, water, and using the bathroom become lower priorities than staying in action.
Some doctors believe that gambling is considered an impulse control disorder. Which means that the individual is incapable or resisting his impulses to gamble. Others believe that it is an obsessive-compulsive disorder or a non-pharmacological addiction. This means that they show an intense desire to perform a specific behavior preceded by an unpleasant feeling. An alternative model of compulsive gambling is as a heterogeneous disorder with different subtypes sharing certain characteristics. Compulsive gambling may not fit into one of the models mentioned above, but rather a mixed group with different subtypes that share certain characteristics.
Both biological and psychological factors play a role in compulsive gambling.
Pathological gambling is a chronic and progressive condition that disrupts the life of the individual and those close to him. Not only is pathological gambling associated with financial problems due to the large amounts of money spent on the activity or the loss of a job, but this disorder increases the likelihood of other emotional and psychiatric problems, and general health problems in the individual or his family (Lorenz V, Yaffee, R. 40-49). Suicide is a possible consequence of pathological gambling. Other consequences might be mood disorders, schizophrenia and some neurological conditions.
The World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the APA, classified Compulsive gambling as an impulse control disorder, because the individual...