Gambling addiction occurs when you can’t stop gambling no matter how much you try to. It happens when you are unable to resist the urge to do it. You do it regularly despite its negative effects on you. Even though gambling addiction is common especially among the youths, several factors contribute to it. Some things put you at a greater risk of developing it sooner or later. This article discusses four factors that lead to gambling addiction. They are;
a) Biological causes
b) Psychological causes
c) Socio-cultural causes
d) Spiritual causes.
i) Biological Causes of Gambling Addiction
Biological factors involve one’s;
• Brain structure
• Physiology elements
You might find that the extent to which you enjoy gambling is different from someone else’s. For instance, you can enjoy or be so obsessed with gambling as a form of entertainment. Thus, you find it hard to resist it. On the other hand, another person may not find gambling as a fun type of entertainment. All this is because the brain chemistry varies from one person to another.
Consequently, we have two types of people. Those who are genetically weak to falling into gambling addiction. And those whose genes are of lesser risk to gambling addiction. So, the brain functioning of an individual determines their ability to disregard gambling impulses. The human brain causes addiction in many people today. The hardest part of it is that it’s difficult to control since it comes naturally. Additionally, brain functioning makes us adapt to pleasurable activities. We then do them repetitively without realising they are taking a toll on us. A good example is gambling. Thus, repeating this behaviour causes gambling addiction in the long run.
Psychological factors have to do with;
• Brain structure
• Physiology elements
If you are unable to solve stress-related issues, you might end up in addictions. This is because you use the addiction to cope with the situation. Similarly, someone in depression might gamble themselves away to find pleasure. Psychologically, gamblers use their addiction to attain some benefits. However, they forget that these benefits come with harmful effects and are short-lived. Gambling and other addictions provide temporary solutions. They are stress relief, mood-boosting, withdrawal prevention, and pleasure.
So, if you are not careful about how you solve issues, you are most likely to get into gambling addiction. As a result, your problems increase since getting into an addiction means that your problem-solving skills are poor. Resorting to gambling increases the stress anyway.
Psychology shows that behaviours like gambling happen by learning. One ought to have invested much time in learning a habit. It then becomes behaviour. The same with gambling. Thus, learning the art predisposes you to gamble. This is true since there are always beginners and veteran gamblers. Meaning they learnt this behaviour and it became a way of life. So, psychology is a causal factor of gambling.
The other aspect of psychology is beliefs. For instance, some people believe that gambling is fun and gives a lot of returns. Such people are motivated to play uncontrollably even if they experience losses. Therefore, one’s set of beliefs regarding gambling will expose them to gambling addiction. If it’s just believing in the highs while ignoring the risks that come with it, then this will be harmful.
Social factors involve family, friends, society, and social groups. Each of this sub-unit can lead to gambling addiction. If you have friends who gamble all the time, they will influence you to follow the same path. It also applies to those around you and the society at large. If society is promoting gambling activities by advertising and marketing, the wave will easily carry you away.
In today’s day and age, we have the internet, social networks, and the emergence of mobile technology. All these are great assets to addicts. Gamblers have easier access to gambling sites. Now things are faster than ever before. So, more people are tempted to try gambling. Once they start, boom! They are addicted.
The culture has to do with shared beliefs and values. If for instance, a government allows a certain type of gambling, it’s likely to be a norm amongst the people. Also, a child might go the gambling way by copying from the parents. This is especially if they realise the only time its parents are happy is when they gamble. It’s because this is now a new norm or an adopted culture.
Socio-cultural factors are the most common causes of gambling addiction.
Spiritual Causes of Gambling Addiction
Spirituality means a belief in a higher power such as;
• a God
• Many gods
• A spirit
• The life force
It also a conviction that there are meaning and purpose in life. Spiritual causes determine one’s capacity to fall into gambling addiction. Believers have faith in religion and higher power than themselves. Thus, they derive life’s meaning and purpose from this.
On the other hand, non-believers do not believe in this higher power. As a result, they suffer from disconnection or loss of life’s meaning and purpose. So what happens? They fall into the trap of gambling addiction. The reason is they can’t find life meaningful anymore. Lacking a spiritual force to rely on takes us far away from our real selves. Thus, making us fall deep into addictions. Though religions might differ, a spiritual anchor is very important in helping us identify with ourselves. Failure to that, we easily fall prey to gambling and mess our lives up.
In the spiritual realm, it’s said that a spiritual force fills a void that exists in human beings. The absence of this, therefore, leads to gambling addiction. This is in efforts to fill the void. Spiritual factors then determine whether one falls into addiction or not.
The above causative factors of gambling addiction are significant. They point out that there are outside forces that lead to this habit. One doesn’t wake up and fall into this pit. It’s a collection of factors put together. However, each of these causes can be controlled.