Does gambling addiction cause depression? Or… does depression cause this problem. This is a classic case of what comes first..the chicken or the egg. Having worked as a counselor for 10 years in the mid eighties to early nineties, both illnesses were always separated. I could never understand this because both are so intricately intertwined. How can you separate the two illnesses?And… how can you really try to figure out which happens first.Anybody with a gambling problem that has any life consequences is surely going to experience depression.In the “winning phase”… when the gambler is still winning and in his or her glory, depression will not co-exist. However, once the addiction progresses, and the person begins losing money, going into debt, and experiencing social, emotional,and physical consequences, depression is sure to ensue.Was the individual with a gambling affliction depressed before? Maybe they could have been depressed before the addiction.. and maybe not. The bottom line is that the person with gambling problems is sure to become severely depressed in direct relationship to the consequences of the gambling behavior.It is hard to separate gambling and depression because gambling addiction is a lonely, isolating, demoralizing disorder. Depression has the same type of qualities.Compulsive gambling and the stress and chaos that it causes in one’s life can result in despondency, lack of sleep, hopelessnes, helplessness, loss of self esteem, sadness, and suicidal thoughts. It is very hard to separate gambling addiction and depression. This addiction is a very depressing affliction.
The online gambling industry is the most profitable industry on the internet. Millions of people around the world are wagering on sports online, playing online poker, bingo and even the lottery online at any of the thousands of gambling sites available on the net. Even people who have never visited a land based casino or a local bookie are finding themselves visiting online casinos and poker rooms on a regular basis.So, what makes gambling on the internet so appealing? Yes, you can play any game of your choice without having to leave your favorite chair. Still, you will not be served free drinks; you will not be able to watch the game you have wagered on from big TV screens; you can neither see the facial expressions of your poker opponents nor to hear the sounds of the coins fall from the slot machine when you hit the big jackpot…Here are the benefits of gambling online comparing to traditional gambling:Diversity: how else can you jump from an online poker room to the craps table and to a bingo hall while staying seated on your most comfortable chair? Most online casinos feature a large variety of casino table games, slots and video poker machines. Moreover, in many major online gambling companies you can switch from online casino gambling to online sports wagering with the same username and account.Bonuses: where else can you receive free money to gamble with? Most online casinos offer free money bonuses in order to entice new customers and to keep up with the competition. The bonuses can start from 10 dollars free just for downloading the casino software to a couple of thousand dollars for completing a certain required amount of raked handsConvenience: obliviously, what can be more convenient than playing your favorite casino game in the comfort of your own home while listening to your favorite music and drinking your favorite beer? Not to mention being able to put your dealer on hold each time up you want to take a breakSmoking and Dress Codes: whether you are a smoker or a non smoker, when you are gambling online you are free from obeying the rules. Same goes for dressing, eating and drinking; you can either smoke non stop or remain in a non smoking environment; wear your sloppiest clothes or stay naked; eat, drink, talk on the phone, watch TV, whateverAtmosphere: when you are gambling online, there are not any cocktail waitresses who will sedate you with free drinks and distract you from beating the dealer. In addition, you can set an atmosphere of your choice that can include clocks or even a source of day lightBeginner Friendly: a land based casino can be an intimidating place for the newbie gambler. The average online casino, on the other hand, is much more beginner friendly than its brick and mortar equivalent. Interactive tutorials, play money modes and the option of avoiding social embarrassment caused by misunderstanding of the rules and codes of behavior is a more pleasant welcome for the novice casino gamer or poker playerSafety: yes, gambling online is usually safer than playing in a land based casino and carrying big amounts of cash money in your pocket. Most online casinos are reliable and respectable businesses that will not risk their reputation and lose their customers base by scamming their playersIn addition to the list of benefits mentioned above, online gambling offers equal opportunity for people with disabilities or those who cannot afford traveling out of their state to play in a legal land based casino.However, reading about the benefits of online gambling makes the huge popularity of online gambling, online poker playing and online sports wagering much easier to understand.
Am I a compulsive gambler? What really is compulsive gambling? Is it an addiction like cocaine or heroin?To truly understand compulsive gambling, you need to take a look at the brain. Simply put, there are a number of hormones that are released in the healthy brain that create endorphins that make you feel good. People who are prone to addiction have a deficiency of these hormones, or a chemical imbalance in the brain. For people with an imbalance in the brain, the “rush” that gambling creates actually mimics the release of these hormones in the brain, and makes the person feel good.However, the feeling that gambling may produce in the brain, is not real, and it definitely is not permanent! The momentary ‘high’ that gambling produces will always result in a crash that will leave you feeling worse then when you started. In order to feel better, desperately, you will gamble again, and again. Only to be let down, over and over. Does this sound familiar? If it does, you’re not alone!Because compulsive gambling mimics a feel good feeling in the brain, it is very similar to other addictions. Just as with alcohol addictions and hard drugs such as cocaine, compulsive gambling is an addiction. But is the brain the only thing to blame when it comes to gambling? Of course not. There is more at work, than the physiology of the brain, but it is an important component.Money is an important part of compulsive gambling; however it is not the only thing. Many people believe that gambling is all about winning money, and earning back what you have lost, but that’s not true at all. People who are addicted to gambling are addicted to the feeling that gambling provides. The thrill of winning, the feeling of power, of greatness! As was just explained, compulsive gambling is much more about a feeling than the money.So if gambling is about a feeling, how is it that compulsive gambling is considered an addiction? Someone who has a gambling problem faces some of the same troubles as an individual with another, more identifiable addiction. The addict cannot stop gambling, despite the fact that they know they should, they live with broken lives, families falling apart and debt problems. Compulsive gamblers live in denial as they chase the big win trying to recapture the ‘high’ that they once felt gambling.Compulsive gambling is a hidden addiction; it is not as easy to identify someone with a gambling problem as someone who is an alcoholic. So how do you spot someone with a gambling problem? How can you be sure if you or someone you love has a problem? And why is compulsive gambling really a problem? In the next email, I’ll outline symptoms to watch for in compulsive gambling.