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Four Phases of Gambling Addiction

January 17, 2023
by Jeannie Albaredo
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Table of Contents

Four Phases of Gambling Addiction

Some people say that a habit is a habit. Is that true, though? Usually not. Yes, the chemicals in the brain that make people addicted to gambling and other things are the same. When a lot of dopamine is released, it feels like a reward and comfort. This increase in dopamine is caused by the “thing” or “action” you are addicted to.

Other things that addicts may have in common are the things that make them more likely to become addicts, such as their mental health, their genes, and where they live. Also, many addicts go through stages of addiction, like the first time they use, long-term use, tolerance, and dependence.

You should be aware of the following phases of gambling addiction:

The Winning Phase

It is what draws a lot of people to gambling. Someone who always loses at gambling is getting off easy because winning is what gets people hooked. During the winning phases of gambling addiction, the player gets a taste of how easy it is to make money. When Lady Luck or, in some cases, skill is on the gambler’s side, it’s easy to see why they should put in more money to keep winning. Loan offers are seen as short-term ways to make the most of a windfall, and using money from savings to gamble is seen as an investment.

The Losing Phase

“What goes up must come down,” says an old saying. Those who have a problem with gambling know this all too well. The high of winning is almost always follow by the low of a losing streak, which is the opposite of winning. By the time this inevitable phase comes around. People who got caught up in the winning phase of the process may find that they owe a lot of money to their lenders. Also, that they have lost too much money on gambling to pay their bills this month.

Small wins might break up this losing streak to keep the goal of making it big alive. During this stage, the gambler may feel like they need to lie because their loved ones will start noticing that money is missing. The person addicted to gambling will think that if they spend enough time and money on gambling, they will start winning again.

Four Phases of Gambling Addiction

The Desperation Phase

As the hard-to-find winning streak keeps avoiding them and their money keeps going down, they become desperate. Instead of seeing things worsening and cutting their losses, a person addicted to gambling will try even more challenges to win. The gambler’s mental health will start to suffer if they see gambling as the only way out of this hole. Which, ironically, is what got them into this hole in the first place. They will always be on edge, and most of the time, they will start to take out their stress on other people. This stage is marked by fights, misplaced blame, and obsessive behavior. There may even be the temptation to do illegal gambling to make money quickly.

The Hopeless Phase

When a gambler is desperate, they still have some hope that things will get better. There’s still a lower level of addiction to gambling to reach. During this last phase, it has become clear that there is no clear way out of the mess. The bills are piling up, the savings are gone, and friends and family may have already left the chaos. Those who fall into the hopeless stage of gambling addiction are likely to be alone and may even think about killing themselves as the only way out of the tragedy that has already happened.

Conclusion

Some people see gambling as a wonder, something fun to do once in a while for social entertainment. Gambling should always be seen as just one way to pass the time in a healthy lifestyle. But gambling can change and grow without the person noticing that it has become more necessary. More gambling causes stress in a person’s life. If you think you might have a problem with gambling, understanding why you do it can help you change your behavior.

Read more: PAGCOR Warns Public Against Illegal Online Gambling

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