Understanding Problem Gambling

Problem gambling or gambling addiction can have a serious effect on a person’s life. For example, a serious gambling habit can put a strain on a relationship and may get in the way of one’s responsibilities at home and at work. It may even lead people to do things that they otherwise wouldn’t do such as stealing money in order to fuel a gambling habit or pay out some of their gambling debts.

Problem gambling, also known as compulsive gambling, is the strong urge to gamble despite the harmful consequences that such actions bring. Compulsive gamblers lose the desire or do not have the proper means to stop their uncontrollable habit by themselves.

It is a type of impulse-control disorder. Compulsive gamblers can’t control their impulse to continue gambling even though they are aware of the negative effects it can cause on themselves, their loves ones and their life in general.

Types of Problem Gamblers

There are generally two types of compulsive gamblers. Their gambling behaviors may be similar, but their motives to gamble may differ. Knowing what fuels them to gamble may help in trying to effectively treat such problems.

Escape Gamblers

This type of a problem gambler gets into the habit as a means of escape. Such gamblers may have gone through certain life experiences that may have caused them emotional pain, worries and problems. Some get into gambling as a means to escape these experiences. They gamble not because they want to feel the highs of winning. They do it in order to numb themselves from the pain they feel.

Most escape gamblers prefer games that isolate them from others, such as slot machines, bingo or online poker. Such gamblers also prefer games that do not require much thought so that they can quickly zone out from their pain. Escape gamblers are not that concerned with winning or losing.

Action Gamblers

Action gamblers are the type of gamblers who get addicted to the thrill of gambling. They get into gambling to experience the highs of winning and the thrill that their risk taking offers them. They thrive for the rush of being able to beat other gamblers and the gambling house.

Action gamblers usually prefer games that require skill and decision making, such as card games, sports betting or craps. Action gamblers may also extend their habit outside by betting on the stock market.