However, compulsive behaviors can exist in eating, shopping, gambling, among others, and are also the disease of addiction. Speaking only of drugs addiction would be too limiting.
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Dependence, whether on substances, a concrete product or a behavior, is determined by the fact that the individual’s life revolves around that substance, product or behavior in such a way that he feels governed and not governor.
Pathological gambling came to be considered an addictive disorder, namely a non-substance-related disorder, beginning with the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association.
In addition to gambling, one lives from and for the expectation of winning and from and for the adrenaline of risk. The game becomes the center of the addict’s thoughts, and constitutes his main activity. Currently, this dependence is not restricted to traditional games of chance (eg casinos), but also internet games that do not always include betting (eg Fortnite, Call of Duty, League of Legends). Even so, the internet offers a wide variety of gambling games and the ease of access (mobile phone, tablet, computer) allows you to spend your days playing games quickly and intuitively.
Games activate the same pleasure zones in the brain as drug use, providing adrenaline and excitement. So it is the action that compulsive gamblers are after, not the money itself.
“Anonymous Online Poker Player”
Beyond time spent playing or thinking about the game, many users enter increasingly larger bets and take progressively greater risks in order to achieve the desired levels of excitement. Another sign of loss of control might be when using the game as a way of investing or recovering money already lost in betting.
What most defines addiction, namely gambling addiction, is not the number of times obsessive and compulsive behaviors are adopted, but how they affect personal, family and professional relationships. Do not ignore this problem, even if it is not directly with you. Always count on us.