The Hidden Addiction Of Gambling: My Prison Without Bars By Pete Rose

2603 words - 10 pages

“Unfortunately, gambling and winning don’t often go hand in hand.” Pete Rose – My prison without bars. Gambling should be a recreational past time, and to many people it is just that. To an estimated 2% - 3% of Americans it is a major problem in their lives. They are pathological gamblers; some studies indicate they spend around $5 billion dollars annually on gambling. When gambling becomes a problem it impacts that person’s social, emotional and financial life. Legalized gambling in America is creating a wide spread problem, pathological gamblers cannot resist the irresponsible urge to gamble, even though the impact could ruin their marriage, their job and financial security. The sad thing here is a person can very easily hide the fact they are losing control of themselves when it comes to gambling, at least for a while. When family or friends do finally realize what is going on. The gambler has a full blown addiction.
There are several causes of pathological gambling, a particular common cause among gambling addicts is depression. The gambler will use gambling as a way to cope or hide from their feelings or from their depression. While gambling they can get lost in the game and zone out. Gambling can fill a void in a person’s life such as loneliness, job loss or job dissatisfaction, a poor social life or an empty nest can all play a role in a gambling addiction. A lot of pathological gamblers have a distorted view of their financial situation. I interviewed a peer with a gambling problem recently, she said her finances were in shambles, she told me all she needed was one big win to get out of debt and be happy. It never occurred to her that gambling was the main reason her finances were messed up in the first place. She admitted she once sat in a casino for thirteen straight hours as a result she spent her entire paycheck and charged the limit on all her credit cards. There are many different causes for gambling to become a problem for people, but the effects are pretty much the same in all instances. Gamblers put their financial security and that of their family in jeopardy when they continue to gamble irresponsibly. They will jeopardize their job or career if it gets in the way of gambling. Unfortunately a gambler cannot have two mistresses. Gambling is not good for a marriage or a relationship, if the person gambling is an addict, then chances are the significant other will play second fiddle to gambling. In trying to hide the extent of their gambling, lying to family and friends will become a regular thing. When money runs out they will start to borrow from friends and family, making up stories about why they need the money. When a pathological gambler has lost control and needs money to fuel his gambling, some may resort to illegal acts to get the money. The more they gamble the more they lose and the more determined they are to win and recoup their losses, but by now they are caught up in a vicious cycle and have no idea how much...

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