People who cannot escape gambling often gamble their entire being. How addiction develops, how relatives suffer, and what treatments can help
Visits to casinos, scuts of a few coins, or bets on winners while betting on slot online: Almost everyone made a bet or enjoyed gambling at some point. However, for some, the hope of winning causes a kick that won’t let go. This can lead to a downward spiral that threatens existence. And these are not isolated cases. According to the Federal Center for Health Education, there were about 180,000 gambling addicts and 326,000 “problem gamblers” in Germany who reached the preliminary stage of gambling addiction in 2017.
Risk and Protective Factors
More than gambling addicts are men. Addiction is especially common among young people. This may be due to each living situation. If you don’t have a regular daily routine, for example, because you’re unemployed, working independently, or research doesn’t provide a fixed structure, you’re more likely to get hooked on gambling. “People with low self-esteem and rapid changes in life-history are especially at risk,” says Gross. In addition, there are stabilizing factors that reduce the risk of addiction.
What can be protected from a gambling addiction:
1. Regulated working life
2. Good connection with your body through sports etc.
3. Strong partnership with a close relationship and stable family situation
4. A circle of trusted friends who engage in community activities
5. Gambling Addiction Due to Strong Values, For example, Religion or Specific Worldview
Gambling Addiction usually has three phases
First, there is the amusement-oriented victory phase. In this phase, casual players gamble with friends, get hooked on success, and in some cases even earn more.
As they continue to play, sooner or later the loser phase will invade. After all, luck-dependent games are designed to put the provider in a good position in the long run. Despite the setbacks, the player cannot stop and experiences a loss of control. “In fact, he only wants to put one euro in the car. Hours later he’s still standing in front of it,” says psychologist Werner Gross. The addict begins lying, borrowing money, going into debt, withdrawing, and tends to gamble more alone. Anxiety, panic attacks, and depression can occur. Whereby he may occasionally reach the winning phase again due to a lucky streak.
Finally, the desperation phase occurs when the player has exhausted all easily obtainable funds. His ideas still revolve around games day and night. Meanwhile, he became a stranger around him. In some cases, addicts try to steal money to continue gambling.
Typical Behavior of Gambling Addiction
The WHO criteria for gambling addiction sound relatively violent. Despite strong negative consequences, continuous gambling, and continuous gambling. The result is, for example, poverty and family collapse. Why? “In many cases, affected people only get kicks from thrills more than ever, so they increase their dose,” explains gambling expert Gross. They play longer and longer or use three slot machines at the same time. The bark of the machine sleeps following her. It continues in a dream.
Attempts to stop gambling often fail in a short amount of time. When gambling is not possible, addicts quickly become nervous and in a bad mood. Players develop “tracking behavior”: they try to recover lost money by continuing to play for higher stakes. They escape from everyday problems into their “game world” and are no longer interested in other hobbies. They ignore their social contact and their work. This often puts workers at risk.