Why can some people occasionally buy a lottery ticket or play a slot machine and suffer no ill effects beyond losing a few dollars, while others become so gambling obsessed that they risk their savings, their jobs, and their relationships with loved ones? One answer may lie in our genes. There are genetic factors that increase the probability of developing gambling problems. This addictive disorder can lead to life altering circumstances. A Gambler’s boundaries seem to be limitless and suggest a vulnerability that can, within the blink of an eye, dramatically shape the rest of their lives.
Gambling is a problem in many places and is usually found in casinos, or among its illegal form of betting on sports. The truth remains that not only adults gamble, but kids and teens do it as well, even though it’s not as obvious.
Gambling can cause you to go broke and can make you start stealing money. It can also lead to doing things like skipping school and wasting precious time and money. At times gambling can just lead to more gambling- such as chasing. “Chasing is when you gamble to try and win back money.”. It is done a lot in poker and especially when betting on sports.
When a gambler is down a large sum of money their mentality switches from greed to utter desperation.
No one likes to lose money especially hard earned working dollars. Although the rationalization of a gambler is that desperate times call for desperate measures. Therefore any means of money is good fortune. Regardless if its college tuition being gambled or petty cash. The end result is to satisfy oneself with incomparable urges of winning and losing money all within a period of time.
Gambling is considered pathological when it seriously disrupts the gambler’s life. The problem is thought to affect somewhere between 1.5% to 11% of the adult population. And the rate of suicide attempts among problem gamblers is very high, with as many as 24% of the gamblers who seek treatment reporting such attempts. Much more is known about the causes of alcoholism then of gambling problems. Still, research shows that 19% to 50% of people who are treated for problem gambling also have a history of alcohol abuse or dependence. This suggests there may be a common vulnerability underlying a problem with gambling and other addictive disorders such as alcoholism.
The brain contains clusters of nerves containing serotonin, which extend throughout the nervous system. Changes in the levels of serotonin have been linked to a number of disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease. Recent research shows that deficiencies in the genes that control the serotonin system could make a person susceptible to a gambling problem. Other factors, such as family history and environment will also play a role.
Everything in moderation is good, it only becomes a problem when it gets away from us.
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