Causes of Gambling Addiction

Causes of Gambling AddictionAs with other forms of addictive behavior, a gambling addiction can quickly slide into a neverending cycle of feeding a compulsion. Often it has less to do with paying for a extravagant lifestyle as it does with providing you with that “gambling high.” An addiction becomes a problem when it takes center stage in your life, at the expense of all else.

Gambling addictions can destroy families and financial security. For many years, therapists and doctors have been studying the conditions that can lead to these bad habits. Based upon this research, several reputable health care providers like the Mayo Clinic have developed an understanding for the causes of gambling addiction. With this understanding comes the range of residential gambling addiction treatment programs have been created to help treat the disorder.

Major Causes of Gambling Addiction

These are the most common triggers for compulsive gambling habits:

  • A Major Life Change. Nobody likes to have their life in upheaval; however, life-changing circumstances are sometimes unavoidable. Major life changes that cause stress could include losing your job or a loved one, ending a relationship or even retirement. When lives are disrupted, some people find it hard to accept and manage the emotions that occur. Instead of coping with those issues, they seek escape in the form of compulsive behavior. By engaging in activities like gambling, you can actually alter your brain chemistry with the release of endorphins. These are the chemicals in the brain that generate feelings of pleasure. Avoiding the reality of your life by engaging in gambling can lead to addiction simply because you have no other way to fix the problem.
  • A Clinical Mental Illness. Simply put, a gambling addiction is a breakdown of your ability to manage impulse control. This could be the direct result of a clinically diagnosed mental disorder. Think of it as your brain needing rewiring. Instead of having the ability to walk away from a game or placing a bet, your brain tells you “go for it because you might just win and wouldn’t that be sweet?” Unfortunately, this brain impulse pops up whether you’re winning or losing. You just can’t control the impulses.
  • Additional Factors. This is where the age old debate of “nature versus nurture” comes into play. Some gambling addicts come from a long line of habitual gamblers. That would indicate that heredity can play a factor in a gambling addiction. Others point to merely being in proximity of gambling that sets off the chain of events leading to the compulsion. This could mean that office workers living near Las Vegas could be at risk by being able to pop over to a casino on their lunch break. Even access to online poker can lead to problems for certain types of people.

Get Answers to Your Gambling Addiction Questions

A true understanding of the causes of any gambling addiction can only be discovered through ongoing therapy sessions. It doesn’t matter if those sessions are one-on-one, group or in-patient rehab; therapy provides the environment where the potential for breaking the addiction can occur. Counselors are standing by at the toll-free gambling treatment helpline on this page to help guide you towards the help you need.