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What is gambling

The development of modern technologies, the availability of gambling for the population, has led our country not only to a change in living conditions, but also to the emergence of new psychological addictions. To some, slot machines or lotteries seem like entertainment and a harmless way to relieve stress.

Agents of gambling addiction are infinitely diverse. In addition to slot machines, these include card games (poker, blackjack, etc.), dominoes and roulette. Gambling as a form of leisure or entertainment is ubiquitous, and the vast majority of people occasionally play casinos, slot machines, go to races, bet, buy lottery tickets. In this regard, many American researchers consider gambling a serious social problem that poses a threat to part of the population. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that in the process of playing, in some cases, relaxation, removal of emotional stress, distraction from unpleasant problems occur, and the game is viewed as a pleasant pastime. According to this mechanism, retraction gradually occurs and dependence develops.

In modern psychological literature, gambling is defined as the redistribution of goods under conditions of deliberate risk, when one party loses and the other party gains, without participating in the production of these goods, with a single determining factor of chance. Gambling addiction can be defined as a form of habitual addiction, when the acquisition of goods as a result of a game of chance becomes the main way to satisfy the emerging intense need in order to enrich oneself.

The relevance of the problem of pathological dependence on games is considered in connection with three main reasons. 1) The emergence of social and financial problems in pathological players: 23% of players have financial problems, 35% are divorced, 80% have broken interpersonal relationships in marriage. 2) The prevalence of illegal actions - up to 60% of gambling addicts commit offenses. 3) High suicidal risk - from 13 to 40% of pathological players attempt suicide, 32-70% have suicidal thoughts.

A survey conducted last year in a number of European countries shows that 33% of teenagers aged 12 to 17 play free online gambling games. Such games are convenient and easily accessible, and can be accessed from home, often without parental control. Their novelty, high level of stimulation and

the low level of physical activity is also a call for young people, many of whom are technically advanced.

Pathological attraction to gambling belongs to the group of mental disorders. In the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, the main diagnostic criterion for this disease is recurrent gambling that continues and often worsens despite the social consequences.

Not in all countries, gambling addiction is accepted as a disease. In Russia, it is included in the official diagnostic guide. In the USA too. In many European countries, the approach to this issue is much less loyal, gambling addiction is considered something like a bad habit.

Abroad, the problem of gambling addiction was noticed about 30 years ago. Gambling addiction in the United States is included in the list of mental illnesses by the American Psychiatric Association, which affects 2-3% of the adult population. Four out of five gambling addictions occur in men (mostly in their 20s and 30s), and more than 90% begin gambling in their teens. Addict players go to great expense of money and effort, and also make active mental efforts to achieve a win.

This addiction refers to non-chemical types of addiction and is known as gambling. It manifests itself in an unbridled desire to constantly participate in endless episodes of gambling, turning into a need and a dominant, suppressing all other manifestations of needs - from physiological to higher spiritual ones. It is significant that even the need for security, which is basic for a person, is neutralized and ceases to be the driving force of behavior in the conditions of overwhelming excitement. The problem of the nature and degree of gambling addiction, the knowledge of the personality characteristics of a playing person and the nature of his psychological destruction, in the context of the foregoing, acquire a special meaning and relevance.

Gambling (from the English word Gamble) is a risky venture, gambling. There are "normal" and pathological varieties of gambling.

Non-pathological gambling is an action with the risk of losing something of value (usually money) with an uncertain outcome and the hope of winning something of greater value. Non-pathological gamblers are also called socialized gamblers, i.e. people who have not yet lost their self-control in the game.

Pathological gambling, according to the American DSM-IV classification: an impulse control disorder characterized by a maladaptive repetitive command in the form of gambling addiction.

with devastating consequences for family, professional and social life. Gambling is usually referred to as pathological gambling.

Some authors consider gambling as a particular variant of addictive behavior. In their opinion, the relevance of the problem is determined by the fact that the disorder is characterized by:

  • defeat of young people;
  • the rapid desocialization of these people, which entails significant direct and indirect economic damage to each of them, their families and society as a whole;
  • high social danger of this disorder - criminalization and victimization of patients;
  • the presence of a large number of comorbid disorders;
  • lack of a common understanding of the nature of psychopathology, clinical dynamics, approaches to therapy and prevention of this disorder.

In the United States, there are special criteria by which a person can be diagnosed as a pathological player. There are nine of them: frequent participation in the game and getting money for the game; frequent participation in a game for large amounts of money for a longer period than the subject intended; the need to increase the size and frequency of bets in order to achieve the desired excitement; restlessness or irritability if the game breaks down; repeated loss of money in the game and borrowing it “until tomorrow” to win back the loss; repeated attempts to reduce or stop participation in the game; increasing the frequency of the game in a situation where the performance of one's professional or social duties is threatened; sacrificing some important social, professional or recreational activity for the sake of the game; continuing to play despite being unable to pay mounting debts.

Summing up, we can say the following. Pathological attraction to gambling belongs to the group of mental disorders. This addiction refers to non-chemical types of addiction and is known as gambling. It manifests itself in an unbridled desire to constantly participate in endless episodes of gambling, turning into a need dominant, suppressing all other manifestations of needs.

Signs of gambling addiction: has long been addicted to the game to the detriment of work, financial condition and family relationships; wants to stop playing but cannot stop; owe money to relatives, friends; tells them lies about where he spent his time and what he spent money on; in case of a win, he cannot stop and go in the black, but continues the game with the goal of winning even more, and as a result goes into the red. The mechanism of formation of gambling addiction is based on partially unconscious aspirations, needs: avoiding reality and accepting a role.

During the game, relaxation, removal of emotional stress, distraction from unpleasant problems occur, and the game is considered as a pleasant pastime. Dependence gradually develops according to this mechanism. The addiction to the game begins when, after participating in it, a person continues to think about the game with great constancy and strives to participate in it again.

Factors of formation and signs of gambling addiction.

In cases of participation in gambling, it can be quite difficult to determine the beginning of the formation of an addictive process, since addiction develops gradually, gradually, and there is no critical attitude towards it.

Currently, there are some predisposing factors that create an increased risk of developing this form of addictive behavior. These include improper upbringing in the family, including its various variants: insufficient guardianship, inconstancy and unpredictability of relationships, excessive demands, combined with cruelty, prestige attitudes. Of great importance are the participation in the games of parents, acquaintances, frequent games at home in front of a child or teenager. There is evidence that “materialism”, an overestimation of the importance of material goods, fixing attention in the family on financial opportunities and difficulties, envy of richer relatives or acquaintances, the belief that all problems in life are connected creates favorable ground for the development of gambling addiction. only with no money.

The Hungarian psychoanalyst Sandor Ferenczi put forward another explanation, which has come to be known as the "infantile omnipotence hypothesis". Ferenczi believed that a very small child is unaware of his helplessness. Lying in the crib, he controls the behavior of adults, commanding to feed, change clothes and entertain the little tyrant. Over time, when the child learns to walk, falls and hurts, the illusion of omnipotence begins to dissipate. Most of us lose our sense of omnipotence by kindergarten age. But from time to time it comes to life again - for example, during the game, when the player falls into the illusion that he can guess the numbers that should fall out. Anyone who has ever played in a casino or on the stock exchange knows this feeling of absolute success, which is an echo of infantile omnipotence.

In addition to psychoanalytic, there are other explanations for the behavior of the players. The passion for the game is associated, for example, with a propensity for risk or a need for thrills. Sociological research shows that two types of people most often play gambling. Most of them have very quiet and even boring professions (accountant, librarian, veterinarian), while the rest are engaged in high-risk professional activities (policemen, stockbrokers, surgeons). The former do it because of the lack of thrills in everyday life, while the latter seem to have a tendency to take risks as a stable character trait.

Genetic studies conducted on children and adults have shown that there are certain differences in the intensity of endorphin synthesis in the human population. It turned out that there are enzymes (catalysts) that destroy opioid peptides. In people subject to a state of dependence, the activity of this enzyme is increased, as a result of which there is an internal deficiency of opioids, which provide a state of pleasure and positive emotions.

A person most often loves this addiction, because it brings him pleasure. Most often, any addiction, including gaming addiction, is fixed on a state of comfort, in the case of players • it is a gain. The game fills a kind of empty niche in the mind and life of the player, the need to fill it is very high. It can be a lack of love, attention, admiration.

At the same time, several main reasons for the appearance of gambling addiction (ludomania, gambling addiction) have been identified.

First of all, it is a feeling of loneliness. The feeling of loneliness makes a person resort to the game for the first time, and the impressions and feelings received during the game make him return to it once again.

Feeling of dissatisfaction. The ego feeling makes a person express himself in the game. Being insufficiently realized in real life, dissatisfied with himself, a person tries to express himself in a game where it is much easier to become a “winner” than in real life. And the more successful his results in the game, the more he wants to return to it again and again.

Feeling of easy gain. This applies primarily to gambling, such as slot machines, casino games and others. Having received a win once, and feeling the adrenaline rush from possessing such easily obtained money, a person tries to repeat his success in the game, which often fails.

Easy susceptibility to all sorts of addictions. And thunders* (ludomania, gambling addiction) is a risk for people who have any other addictions, such as drug or alcohol.

Mental disorders of varying degrees and characteristics. People who were once treated for mental disorders are also prone to such a disease as gambling (ludomania, gambling addiction). A high level of their susceptibility to gambling has been established, as a result of which gambling addiction (ludomania) arises.

Individuals with gambling addiction have the following personality traits:

  • high "social courage" - propensity to risk, disinhibition, abnormal style of behavior;
  • "susceptibility to feelings" - a tendency to inconstancy, susceptibility to the influence of the case and circumstances, a decrease in compliance with generally accepted norms and prohibitions in behavior and interpersonal contacts;
  • "expressiveness" - emotional disorientation of thinking, spontaneous faith in luck;
  • "tension" • active dissatisfaction with aspirations;
  • "instability of self-control" - conflicting ideas about oneself; inadequacy of self-esteem (regardless of age group).

Sustained remissions were mainly observed in persons with high rehabilitation potential, successful premorbidity, and monodependence. married, permanently employed, participating in long-term treatment and rehabilitation programs.

It should be remembered that gambling (gambling) is a fairly serious disease. And, if you find signs of gambling (ludomania) in your relative, acquaintance or close person, you should immediately take measures to treat it. Otherwise, gambling (ludomania) can lead to irreparable consequences.

Psychiatrists-arcologists, psychotherapists are engaged in the treatment of gambling, and the success of treatment depends primarily on how true the patient's desire to be cured is and how the doctor will interest the patient in overcoming this ailment. First of all, treatment should be consistent and continuous. It is very important for such a disease as gambling, the treatment of which should be carried out with the full consent of the patient, the participation of relatives and close people of the patient.

Support from loved ones will help to cope with this disease much faster and more effectively.