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Traditionally the difference between an addiction, as opposed to mere self-destructive behavior and habits involved physical dependency reflected in physical withdrawal symptoms: "Main Entry: ad·dic·tion "Pronunciation: \?-'dik-sh?n, a-\ "Function: noun "Date: 1599 "1 : the quality or state of being addicted <addiction to reading> "2 : compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful" addiction is a persistent behavioral pattern marked by physical and/or psychological dependency and tolerance that causes significant disruption and negatively impacts the quality of life of an organism. "Addictions are frequently linked to substance abuse, particularly psychoactive drugs such as narcotics, stimulants, and sedatives among others. It is common in colloquial English usage to extend the use of the term "addiction" to also encompass apparent compulsive behavior and passionate dedication to activities (such as hobbies) by analogy." Does a gambling addict [if such a thing exists] develop a tolerance to gambling [allowing it to be characterized as an addiction]? Does a gambling addict [if such a thing exists] experience physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms when the credit card maxes out, the Roccos working for the loan sharks demand repayment, when jail and prison sentences enforce withdrawal from gambling? Or is the term 'gambling addiction' merely an excuse for continuing self-destructive behavior by utilizing an implied emphatic need carried as baggage in the word addiction? Is a person whom others refer to as a 'gambling addict' an actual addict, or rather a person making serialized consecutive self-destructive choices [more akin to insanity than addiction]?
Maquis: Good answer generally. On the other hand, there probably needs to be some word to distinguish the difference between habitual lousy choices combined with a dearth of self-discipline, and a physical consequence of withdrawal causing the withdrawal to be more difficult. Not to suggest it's impossible, but I see it as a different phenomenon. Anti-social behaviors are all choices but they're sometimes the results of unlike stimuli. The question is a sincere one addressed here because I suspect the Y/A! Gambling QA is visited by a lot of experts in matters of addiction, both physical and psychological. I'm hoping for insights.
Gambling is only an addiction in the way that all habits are, whether a habit be good or bad. Our desire to continue our habits has power over us. In fact, desire has 100% control over us, it determines every action we make. Our brains are just machines, they act in a predictable cause-effect manner. The only way a habit can be broken is if your desire to break it is stronger than your desire to continue it. Also known as, willpower. Every action comes from the net result our our desires. So I think the term "addiction" is an excuse for irresponsibility and/or delusional thinking, it blames it on a mystical force. However, there's really no such thing as responsibility if our brains are just machines. We don't get to choose our desires, therefore our actions aren't really free choices. (This is just my view of things, of course.) A computer program isn't responsible for the instructions it executes. So in that sense, if someone has a bad habit, it really isn't their fault, and they really can't help it, unless their desire to end the habit increases, or unless they're able to gain a new perspective that rids them of their delusion. As for the difference between gambling addiction and drug addiction, that's tricky. I suppose the urge to use a drug is stronger, for one. Also, gambling addiction is just a presence of an urge. Whereas, with drug addiction, I imagine that you not only have the urge to use the drug, but the addiction also weakens your counter-urges, so that you don't even WANT to quit. You can't quit something if you don't even want to quit it in the first place. With gambling addiction, you at least dislike the fact that your life is being ruined. But with drug addiction, it seems like you stop caring about all other aspects of your life, all you care about is how you're gonna get your next hit. As long as you have a supply of the drug, life is good, no matter how bad your life is in all other areas. Also, a brain addicted to drugs isn't even the same brain as it was before. The same can't be said for gambling addicts. Adrenaline and endorphins don't change the very makeup of your brain. Running gives you endorphins, chocolate gives you endorphins, but I'm pretty sure heroin belongs in a different category than chocolate. Somewhat related story: I've seen a Gambler's Anonymous meeting, and it seemed like instead of trying to fix the root of the problem (people's delusions) -- mississippi tried to just brainwash the people into having a different delusion which would scare them away from gambling. For instance, the pamphlet's definition of gambling included the phrase, "Any game of chance or 'skill'..." By putting quote-marks around the word "skill", the organization is trying to tell people there's no such thing as skill, so even if it's Kasparov gambling on a game of Chess, he's still making a bad decision, and he's still probably gonna lose, just because of the fact that he's gambling. I feel like this approach is a bit overkill, delusion isn't the only way to fight delusion. If the organization saw gambling as a habit, rather than some mystical-force called "addiction", then they would probably take a different approach. But I must admit, the meetings seem to work for people, because there were plenty of people in there who hadn't gambled in years. Still, even if a delusion is useful, I think it's still bad to have.
Gambling is as devastating an addiction as drinking.. only that drinking to excess damages the body.. gambling can leave a gambler homeless.. and living in the street.. Alcoholism has to be treated by the alcoholic person realizing he or she has a problem with alcohol and then seek help.. from a support group such as the AA.. I am sure there is something similar for gamblers..a support group they can join.. Gambling has ruined a lot of lives.. not only the life of the gambler but of his or her entire family if they are married and have children. this person needs to realize how devastating this problem is and seek help,. there is no other way.. addiction is addiction , whether it's a physical or a mental addiction so only a support group can help. I am sure they have a support group for gamblers who ruined their lives and lost everything.. because there are many many people who even gamled online.. by playing cards online for money. and they lost their homes and everything over this.. so they do need a support group.. and then they probably need to spend the rest of their lives to pay back what they owe.. so the sooner they stop the better because the debts will continue to accumulate.. distraction is not enough. this is not an anxiety disorder where distraction might work.. this is a deep rooted addiction and really needs help from professionals and best is a support group instead of a councellor one on one.. in a support group they will hear other horror stories of other people whose life was wrecked through gambling which may give the gambler more incentive to stop.. with the help of the group..
Personally, I think our society has greatly overused the word "addiction". People don't want to accept personal responsibility for their actions. It's just human nature. We as a society need to change this and stop coddling the wrong doers. If someone is acting badly, whether it's gambling, drinking or cheating on your spouse then they need to be told straight out they're being jerks and hurting other people. Instead they're told they're sick and need help. It's much easier to see yourself as "sick" rather than a bad person. Bud really can't help getting drunk at the bar each night. He's an alcoholic and needs help. Tiger has to have female companions. He's a sex addict and is forced to spend time on the road away from his wife. Tony has trouble paying the mortgage this month. He has a gambling addiction. It would be best to block the gambling sites from him since he can't help going on them. Johnny didn't turn in his homework and needs some extra help in school. He has a video game addiction and it's harder for him to concentrate. If you want to limit the term "addiction" to only things that cause a physical dependency then I'll argue that still includes everything. Activities such as gambling, sex and video game playing produce endophrines (spelling?) in the brain that trigger our pleasure centers. Heck, I'd love to spend all day playing and having fun but I also have responsibilities to fulfill. Even if you're rich and can afford to spend all day having fun, most folks still manage to contribute something positive to society.
Gambling is kind of the bastard stepchild when it comes to addictions - I mean its right up there with sex addiction......lol Its more a choice and a lifestyle - because there IS no chemical or physical dependency yet - its not a lie to admit some people just do to reckless behavior can not stop themselves and they can spiral into a destructive pattern because of their bad choices No one puts a gun to their head - so personally I have a hard time saying its a disease - Aids is a disease - for the afflicted gambler they never NEEDED any encouraging - ALL gamblers are more than WILLING - its the result they have a hard time coming to terms with the problem is that since they link gambling as a full addiction and they try to treat it like any other addiction with 12 steps and meetings and other things of that nature - they basically do a DISSERVICE to most gamblers (in my opinion)- because they give them a crutch - they say its not your fault - your powerless over this - and only through belief in a higher power can you overcome it - It really cant be further from the truth - its 100% in your control - you choose do I continue - is it worth the risk - the risk is more than money when your in deep - family - friends - your health - your career - even your life in extreme cases! basically you can call it an addiction if you want to - I mean someone can blow their entire life savings on the stock market and no one says you need professional help- yet do it in a casino and they have a program for you.......... Personal Responsibility is what is the key everyone likes to avoid - its never the gamblers fault who finds himself in ruin - in programs they tell you its not your fault and your a victim, so its no wonder gamblers who are just more obsessed with an expensive hobby they cant afford to sustain like to lable themselves addicts when they run out of money and options!
No according to me gambling is not an addiction that way its just to relax your self and having fun after the fussy schedule of busy life...so this is a addiction that is chilling you out..... while talking of other addiction it is more about killing you out. But if you are gambling all day for sake of fun or money that is an addiction and it is as bad as the definition in your merriam-webster online dictionary and that's really bad.
Yepp. your additcted to ggambling are you retarded or something