Gambling has expanded its span from the physical environment to online, affecting a broader range of people within Australia, but would you know what problem gambling is?
Just as some people can become addicted to drugs and alcohol, it is possible to become obsessed or have an uncontrollable urge to do something such as gambling. Problem gambling is a disorder where an individual has a psychological and uncontrollable urge to gamble, no matter what. It is a disorder that they feel that they do not have control over with; it is an emotional dependence to gambling. Gambling can have substantial impacts not only on the gambler but also their loved ones. It can impact their personal lives, work, finances, self-esteem, families; it impacts every aspect of their lives.
Gambling is a mood-altering activity, as when you win you get an instant rush of adrenaline and feeling of excitement. Gamblers will continue to wager to achieve that same rush or ‘high,’ doing anything to feel the same effect. Similar to an alcoholic, a gambler will develop a tolerance and the effect that is achieved normally when gambling becomes harder and harder to reach, and they have to go to greater lengths to achieve the same emotional effect as before. This creates an increased craving and means that the individual has less and less control over the frequency that they gamble and the amount that they gamble. They cannot resist.
Also, generally gamblers are prone to having an addictive personality. This is as if you have one addiction you are more prone and at risk of developing another. However, this isn’t to say that people that have developed a gambling addiction are necessarily going to develop an additional addiction. This is as some find that nothing else can produce the same outcome or feeling as gambling.
Problem gambling is an issue that can affect anyone at any time. It is similar to any other addiction. It has the same effects and can have long- and short-term impacts. When gambling, you need to maintain in control and understand that gambling is for entertainment purposes.