When Internet Gambling Becomes Destructive

destructive internet gamblingInternet gambling is a fairly common activity that many people have engaged in, but as harmless as it may seem, it does pose a threat in some ways. To the average person, internet gambling hardly even registers in their lives, but to a gambling addict, internet gambling is a destructive trap to fall into. All the appeal that gambling has held over people for centuries is now at any internet user’s fingertips through the click of a mouse. This addictive activity has an incredible hold over many people’s lives, and can be recognized in some distinctive traits.

When internet gambling has negative consequences on a person’s life, it has become an addiction. This is the consequence that is seen the most readily. All internet gambling costs money or some kind of wager, but when a person becomes addicted to it, the money starts flowing far too quickly. It is not long before the individual cannot pay their bills and their finances are depleted. This is one way that an internet gambling addiction can become destructive.

Internet gambling can be very detrimental on relationships. It is hard for a person to retain their respect for another once they uncover their addiction, unless the addict is willing to work to defeat their addiction. Because most people go through denial over their addiction, they push their friends and relatives further and further away by going deeper and deeper into their addiction. Not all relationships can recover from the pain that addiction causes. If an addict wants to keep their relationships, it is best they work on defeating their addiction.

And lastly, a person’s health can begin to suffer because of their internet gambling addiction. The constant sitting that online gambling requires becomes hard on the body when it is endured for many hours over many days. Not only is a person constantly sedentary when they are gambling online, but the time they invest into gambling eats up their time to do much of anything else, including exercise. This deteriorates a person’s health at a rapid rate, causing weight gain, muscle loss and reduced function of the body’s systems.

Are Gaming and Gambling Real Addictions?

gaming addictionSome people say that gaming and gambling are not real addictions, and that only chemical addictions actually count. This is not credible information. Addiction is present anywhere someone is overvaluing a substance or a process. Gaming and gambling online are two activities, or processes, that give people pleasure, distract them from the outside world and offer escape. They are things that people abuse by overindulging in them. Their qualifications to be classified as addictive are as follows:

  • Damaging to relationships. When someone compulsively gambles online or plays video games relentlessly, the people around them who are subjected to it become resentful of it. People obsessed with these activities tune out the entire world to engage in them, including their responsibilities to themselves and to others. This becomes very aggravating to people who have to depend on them because they do not pull their weight or make contributions. They spend very excessive amounts of time gaming and gambling.
  • Draining to finances. Gaming and gambling are both expensive activities to engage in. Gambling is obviously expensive, as it revolves around placing bets with money. When people begin to do this compulsively, the cost becomes astronomical. Many people do not realize how expensive gaming is as well. Someone who is gaming compulsively is investing in many games, online memberships, gaming consoles and additional gaming components. A gaming addiction inevitably costs a great deal of money.
  • Deteriorating to health. Both a gaming addiction and a gambling addiction require a great deal of sitting. Overtime, this adds up to a dysfunctional body. Sitting excessively in order to game or gamble causes immense problems to a person’s health. They inevitably begin to struggle with weight gain and muscle deterioration. Severe cases of gaming or gambling addiction can even lead to blood clots forming in the legs and heart problems due to lack of cardiovascular activity.

In short, anyone who says that gaming or gambling cannot be real addictions is misinformed. These two activities, when abused and overindulged in, can cause a great deal of stress, strife and chaos to a person’s life. If you or someone you know is struggling with a gaming or gambling addiction, take it seriously enough to find help.

Internet Gambling Addiction

online addiction to gamblingWhen we hear the term “gambling addiction,” we tend to think of large casinos echoing with the sounds of slot machines and the clanking of glasses. But in the age of the internet, a physical location is no longer required for gambling. Websites such as Casino Loco Panda and Grand Parker Casino attract millions of repeat gamblers to put money down on games in an attempt to win a fortune.  Although it takes place in the privacy of your home, it is essentially no different from gambling in a casino.
Unfortunately, gambling at home on the internet comes with the same addiction problems as gambling in a casino does. The prospect of instant cash on a lucky hand is more than some people can resist. In fact, online gambling has been found to be even more addictive than in-person gambling in a number of ways. The internet and computer usage have found to be addictive themselves, and when you add the attraction to those things with the convenience of gambling from home, the cocktail is irresistable. People have been known to go through thousands of dollars in one day of online gambling.
It may seem like an easy thing to stop doing to those who do not have a gambling addiction, but this is merely because they do not understand the chemical make-up of an addict’s brain. All human brains produce a chemical called dopamine when they are experiencing pleasure. The brains of addicts produce significantly less dopamine than the brains of non-addicts, so when an addict finds something they take pleasure in, they tend to overuse it. For gambling addicts, the thrill of not knowing the outcome of a gamble is what makes it enticing, pleasurable and exciting, so they repeat the action of gambling over and over in order to produce a satisfying amount of dopamine.
Occasional light online gambling is a common thing to engage in, but when it becomes a compulsive activity and begins to drain the online gambler of funds, it has become a harmful addiction and requires treatment in most cases.

Online Gaming and Gambling Addiction

addiction to online gambling and gamingWhen we think of severe addictions, we of course think of the addictions that put people in immediate danger, such as a heroin or cocaine addiction. However, just because an addiction does not pose an immediate threat does not make it any less of an addiction. A gaming or gambling addiction, for example, can cause critical damage to a person’s life in a number of ways.

Gaming addiction typically refers to a compulsion to play video games, either alone or online with friends. Gaming may seem like a harmless habit, but when it becomes an addiction that devours many hours in a day, it is detrimental to your health, relationships and responsibilities. Because it is such an inactive use of time, the gamer will more than likely experience weight gain, a slowed metabolism and other potential health risks. They will begin to push the people in their life away through neglect and find themselves with fewer close relationships. Their personal obligations and commitments will suffer as they devalue everything but gaming in importance.

Gambling addiction is similar to gaming addiction in that it takes something meant to be a pass time and places at an exaggerated level of importance, but gambling differs from gaming in that the stakes are raised. When money is involved, there is a higher thrill and a higher cost. This element of danger is the addictive draw to gambling, and also the reason it can prove so devastating to a person’s life. Though gambling is not draining on a person’s physical and mental health the way that a substance addiction is, it can leave them in complete financial ruin, isolate them from anyone who cared for them and destroy their reputation among co-workers and peers. Plus, a person who is badly entrenched in a gambling debt may have borrowed money from dangerous people in order to finance their habit. If they are unable to pay them back, they have put their safety at risk.

Gaming and gambling addictions lead to broken, dysfunctional lives. It has been found that the brain’s dopamine production during a gaming or gambling addiction is the same as that of an addiction to a substance or a chemical-creating activity such as sex. So, while there are no dangerous biological side effects like there is to substance abuse, the addictive draw of gaming and gambling is equal in strength to any other addiction and causes the same apparent, negative behavioral shifts. For that reason, gaming and gambling addiction should be respected as serious addictions and should be treated with self-help, support groups or gambling addiction treatment.

 

Addiction Treatment for Online Gambling and Gaming

treatment for addictionAn online gambling or gaming addiction may not pose as immediate a threat as an alcohol or drug addiction, but it is serious enough to warrant addiction treatment. Digital gambling and gaming has been found to be a comparable addiction to casino gambling. It can jeopardize your finances, your relationships, your goals and your health. It can be strong enough to keep a person riveted for hours, even days on end in some instances, and can evoke hostility toward anyone who attempts to interfere with it. Although a digital gaming and gambling addiction does not pose an immediate threat to the addict, it can drastically decrease their quality of life and even shorten their life span.

Digital gaming and gambling addictions are treated at many inpatient rehabilitation centers. If a person is gaming so frequently that their life is beginning to deteriorate, this is the level of treatment they require. Inpatient rehabilitation will keep the addict away from digital gaming and gambling until they can recall how to function in a healthy way without it. If the addict spends too many hours at digital gaming or gambling but is not necessarily jeopardizing some aspect of their life, it could be that a less intensive form of addiction treatment is more appropriate for them, such as outpatient addiction treatment, support groups or self-help material.

An addiction to online gaming, online gambling or video games is not a joke. People have been known to call out of work and miss class when their favorite games are released, damaging their professional reputations. The hours of sitting in front of a screen damage a person’s posture and circulation, and cause obesity and muscle deterioration. Addicts often neglect their family and friends in order to engage in continuous gaming, causing their personal relationships to fall apart. The advice that mental health professionals give is not to treat a minor seeming addiction lightly. Any form of addictive behavior throws a person’s life out of balance and keeps them from living in a healthy way.

Video Game and Online Gaming Addiction

gaming addict online

Gaming and technology have both been found to have an addictive appeal to certain people. Put together, in cases such as video games and online gaming, the combination is overwhelmingly addictive. Beginning with the generation that was first introduced to video games, digital gaming has infiltrated our culture at a very deep level. Because the gaming industry is so huge in modern times, video games and online games have reached unprecedented levels of artistry, complexity and popularity. However, labeling digital games as addictive seemed like a stretch until recent studies on the brain under the influence of video games were released.

Dopamine is the substance the brain produces when it is having a pleasurable experience. We all encounter substances, activities and behaviors that create dopamine within the brain, however, some of us produce much more dopamine than others. Those who have to work harder to produce dopamine often earn themselves the title of “addict” because they seek pleasurable experiences in excess. Video games qualify as a pleasurable experience. People who play them regularly describe them as a stress release and a fun hobby. Surprisingly, it has been found that people who overuse video games are achieving the same levels of dopamine as people who overuse alcohol or sex. This constitutes video games as a legitimate addiction.

Legitimate addictions require legitimate treatment. Often times, rather than simply treating a gaming addiction, a rehab center or addiction treatment facility will treat gaming, gambling, internet and technology addictions together because they are very similar in nature. There is still much to learn about digital gaming addiction, and its qualifiers are still changing and morphing. But we do know that online and video gaming can have similar negative effects on a person’s life as a more threatening addiction does, such as drugs and alcohol. The addict focuses on gaming so singularly that the quality of their personal relationships, job or school performance and physical health begins to decline. Video game addiction is not a laughing matter. If you or someone you love is addicted to digital gaming, seek help before the problem increases.