How to Prevent Your Loved One From Falling Into the Gambling Trap

How to Prevent Your Loved One From Falling Into the Gambling Trap


Whether it’s playing card games, betting with friends or taking a chance on a slot machine, gambling involves risking money or material items for the potential to win. People gamble for a variety of reasons, including socialising, escaping daily stressors, and meeting basic human needs such as status or thrills. Some people can easily walk away after a few rounds of poker or a few spins of the reels, but others may find themselves struggling with gambling addiction.

Generally, people who are prone to gambling addiction have genetic or psychological predispositions that can lead to dramatic alterations in how the brain sends chemical messages. These factors can trigger the onset of problem gambling, which can be difficult to overcome.

Gambling is more than just a vice; it can impact physical and mental health, relationships, work and study performance, and get people into serious debt. Public health experts warn that it can also increase suicide rates. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent your loved one from falling into the gambling trap.

A common misconception is that gambling is an addictive behaviour because it causes chemical changes in the brain. The reality is that the underlying cause of a person’s addiction to gambling is not chemical, but rather emotional and behavioural. It’s important to understand the different types of gambling and the risk of addiction to each.

Gambling takes many forms, from playing card games like poker and blackjack with friends in a private setting, to placing bets on sports events with colleagues or friends in a bar or casino. Gambling also includes activities such as scratchcards, fruit machines and lotteries. While these forms of gambling do have some element of risk, it’s important to remember that the majority of gambling is based on a random outcome.

The key to understanding why gambling can be addictive is the concept of partial reinforcement. This means that when people gamble, they are not rewarded 100% of the time and they experience a negative outcome the other percentage of the time. As a result, people who are susceptible to gambling addiction become obsessed with winning and are unable to stop until they have won back all of their losses.

Moreover, a person’s reaction to losing is much more significant than their response to winning, as they are more emotionally attached to the loss of PS10 than they are to the discovery of PS10. This leads to the vicious cycle where people continue gambling in an attempt to ‘win back’ their losses.

In 2013, the Psychiatric Association moved pathological gambling into the Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders section of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The move was widely viewed as a major change in thinking, as it recognised that compulsive gambling is a real disorder. Previously, it had been considered a compulsion, similar to kleptomania and trichotillomania (hair pulling).