Gambling Addiction

by Priscilla Green
(Yarraman QLD Australia)

What starts gambling?


In men, compulsive gambling usually starts in the early 20s. Women usually start later (30-40) however with casinos and online gambling easily accessible, the ages are progressively getting younger.

The early phase of gambling is similar to the learning phase of substance abuse. The high is pleasurable and there are minimum consequences. However, the majority of compulsive gamblers, get hooked after winning.

This is followed by the unrealistic beliefs that there will be more wins to follow. When they lose, they still believe there is a ‘next time’. They chase their losses, by gambling again, and as the addiction progresses, they become so focused on gambling that they’re preoccupied with it.

With time, they take larger risks and the need to win back the money intensifies. The compulsive gambler has emotional highs and lows --evolving around anxiety and depression.

But it all starts with the win. When you think about it, if they always lost, they wouldn’t get a reward, so they wouldn't get caught up in it in the first place.

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