Pathological Gambling is a type of disorder where a person gambles to the extent of it having adverse effects on their health, employment and relationships. A pathological gambler will often lie, cheat and steal, or even commit fraud to support their gambling need. It is a common occurrence to see a pathological gambler lose his house, car, even his job, but will still feel the need to gamble despite losing everything he owns.
A Combination of Contributing Factors
Pathological gambling is a disorder that has to do with a person’s impulse control. It has been said that a combination of environmental, biological, and genetic factors result in compulsive gambling which provides the rush that a pathological gambler becomes addicted to. While a person rolls a dice or places a bet, there is a release of endorphins into his system that gives the person a euphoric feeling. The problems concerning damaged relationships and debts are momentarily set aside due to the feeling of elation brought about by this activity.
A pathological gambler always has the uncontrollable and irresistible desire to gamble. Whether horse racing, card games, lotto or sports betting, a pathological gambler has a preferred form of gambling and may even be engaged in all forms of gambling.
Pathological gambling is usually manifested through the following symptoms:
• Although compulsive gambling is more common in males who start late in their teens, it also afflicts women who are late bloomers and start late.
• Alhough it starts off as social or occasional gambling, the progression to pathological gambling usually takes a couple of years.
• Periods of extreme stress is thought to bring about compulsive gambling.
• Even if a person wants to reduce his gambling activities, he has difficulty in doing so and this leaves him ill tempered and irritable.
• A pathological gambler usually hides the truth about the severity of his gambling or how long they stay at the casino or how much money they have lost.
• To support the addiction, a pathological gambler always borrows money for gambling purposes and may even resort to theft, robbery, and/or embezzling funds if he is unable to procure money legally.
• In the hopes of solving their problems by winning large amounts of money, a pathological gambler resorts to taking risks in an increasing manner.
• A pathological gambler usually feels remorse and guilt after gambling.
In the absence of professional help, pathological gambling is very difficult to overcome. Oftentimes, pathological gamblers choose to ignore the extent of their problems until their family members insist that they do something to get rid of the behavior. With the help of treatment in a multi-faceted manner, overcoming pathological gambling becomes a possibility.