Gambling is something that people are capable of enjoying once in a while, but for others it can turn into an activity that is hard to control. Gambling is the act of risking money, property, or something of value on an activity that has an uncertain outcome. This can include, lotteries and bingos, card games, going to casinos, buying multiple kinds of tickets, making bets, and games such as pool, golf, or arm wrestling. Gambling can be legal as well as illegal, any sort of gambling managed by the government or by regulations set by the government is legal, and any sort of gambling that is not managed by regulations is illegal. Gambling doesn’t have one specific cause, and the cause can be different for everyone.
People who have bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome have been observed to develop an addiction to gambling. Bipolar disorder because exorbitant spending is known to be a symptom and can take form in gambling. Parkinson’s and restless leg syndrome, because of the theory that the medications can increase the activity of dopamine in the brain as a culprit. Other causes can include, emotional conditions, schizophrenia, mood problems, antisocial personality disorder, and alcohol or drug addictions.
People who have problems with gambling usually spend a lot of time doing so and don’t leave much time for family, friends, and important events. Bigger bets begin to get placed and they happen more often, which can lead to growing debts causing the person to borrow money from friends or family. Those with problems can’t fully stop gambling but would rather “cut back,” and can also become bad-tempered, depressed, withdrawn, or restless if they aren’t able to gamble.
Gambling can have some very serious effects on the gambler, as well as those around him/her. Debt, bankruptcy, poverty, theft, prostitution, and suicide issues can all be side effects of gambling. Families with people those who have an addiction to gambling are more at risk of experiencing domestic violence and child abuse. And children of compulsive gamblers have a higher chance of developing depression, behavior problems, and substance abuse.
There are many reasons for gambling and usually it is for fun or excitement, to escape or forget problems, to win money, or to feel challenged. In Canada, gaming is the largest entertainment industry being the same size as movies, TV, recorded music, and professional sports combined. During 2007, 70.7% of adults gamble, and the most common gaming activities among Canadian adults are lotteries and instant-win tickets. About 3.2& of adults, and 2.2% of youth, are affected by moderate to severe problem gambling. A survey conducted in 2001-2006 suggests that the provinces, which have the highest rates of gambling, are Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and Quebec and New Brunswick have the lowest.
Gambling can be overcome, as there are multiple ways to fix your problem. Many participate in gamblers anonymous or go to psychotherapy. Medications have been discovered which help reduce the urge to gamble, or thrill that comes with it. Financial counseling and self-help interventions are also ways to go about fixing your addiction. 70% of people who have gambling problems most likely also have another psychiatric issue; therefore they may need more than one type of treatment for their best chance to overcome their problem(s).
My personal viewpoint on gambling is that, it’s not always a bad thing if you can keep it under control, and if it is legal. I think it’s a good way to have fun if you know your limits. If you have gambling problems it can become quite serious, which in that case you need to get some sort of help and realize it is not the best lifestyle. After doing this report I realize that it is an important issue that I was not fully aware of, and that it can be harmful to ones present and future just as much as alcohol and drug addictions.
Courtney from Study Moose
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