ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Understanding Pathological Gambling

Updated on May 20, 2014

Gambling defined

Gambling is defined as wagering on games or events in which change largely determines the outcome. The ancient Chinese wagered hairs of their head or even fingers, toes and limbs on games of chance ,while the Mojave Indians wagered their wives. Regardless, gambling has occurred and continues to occur among all social strata.

Pathological Gambling

Source

A professional perspective

Gambling takes many forms from casino gambling, to betting on horse races, to numbers games, lotteries, dice, bingo and cards. Even playing the stock market might be considered a game of chance.

Pathological gamblers are habitual losers who are always out of luck, usually in debt and sometimes in jail. They tend to be of average intelligience or above and many have completed one or more years of tertiary education. In many instances they are married and often have responsible managerial or professional positions earning themselves a reasonable income.

The causes of pathological gambling

When Sigmund Freud used the compulsive gambling of Doestoevsky as an example, he concluded that such gamblers were guilt ridden mashocists who wanted to be published. He also emphasized Dostoevsky’s hatred of his father and subsequent guilt feelings of his father’s murder when he was eighteen years old.

Pathological gambling seems to be a learned pattern that is highly resistant and the individual usually becomes addicted after winning a substantial amount of money the first time. The reinforcement an individual receives during this introductory phase is a significant factor in future pathological gambling despite excessive losses since anyone is likely to win from time to time.

Pathological gamblers often dissipate earnings, neglect their families, default on bills and borrow money friends and loan companies. They would soon resort to writing bad cheques, embezzlement or other illegal means of obtaining money, constantly reminding themselves that their luck will change. They tend to be rebellious, unconventional individuals who do not seem to fully understand the ethical norms of society. These desperate men are unrealistic in the thinking and prone to seek highly stimulating situations and love excitement and “need action”.

According to a psychological test performance of pathological gamblers with that of alcoholics and drug addicts, the three groups showed very similar characteristics. These individuals were self-centred, narcissistic, tense, nervous and anxious, pessimistic, brooding and overreacted to stress. Furthermore, they were characterized by acting-out, impulsive behavior, periodic outbursts of anger, frustrated with the lack of achievement, were reluctant to open up emotionally for fear of being hurt, showed superficial remorse and were passive-dependant and manipulative. These similarities suggest that their personality characteristics may be involved as predisposing factors in the three disorders.

Treatment

Treatment approaches would include group psychotherapy, aversion therapy, covert sensitization and cognitive behavioural therapy. A small percentage of pathological gamblers resort to membership in Gamblers Anonymous groups eventually, however, only a small fraction do overcome their addiction to gambling.

What is a gambling disorder?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)