Gambling is created for purposes of leisure such as horse racing, poker and cards. However, when the gamblers are mentally inability to control their behaviour in engaging gambling activities, it becomes a problem. Terms like pathological gambling, problem gambling, or gambling addictions are used to describe such condition. American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) characterises it as a disorder of impulse control.
Features include “mood disorders, stress related medical conditions and personality disorders, chronic and progressive failure to resist impulses to gamble and gambling behaviour that compromises or disrupts the gambler’s life. ” Therefore, a problem gambler may appear some or all of the following symptoms: 1. Preoccupation: frequent thoughts about gambling experiences 2. Tolerance: increase the feeling of “rush” about gambling 3. Withdrawal: feel irritable when try to stop or reduce gambling 4. Escape: use gambling to escape problems . Chasing: try to win back the loss with more gambling 6. Lying: hide the fact of gambling 7. Loss of control: fail to reduce gambling 8. Illegal acts: steal, cheating, deceit, fake 9. Risked significant relationship: gamble despite risking or losing a relationship, job, or other opportunities 10. Bailout: ask for financial assistance as a result of gambling When someone obsesses three or more symptoms, he/she will be diagnosed as pathological gambler or gamble addict. . Statistics and demographic
According to PC Survey of Clients of Counselling Agencies, PC National Gambling Survey (1999) gamblers under 25 years old are likely to develop as problem gamblers as twice that of gamblers as a whole. The follow table shows the details. Dickerson et al. (1997) revealed that there are about 1 out of 100 Australian adults, equivalent to about 1 30 000 adults estimated to have severe gambling problems. The Survey of Clients of Counselling Agencies confirms, there are more males than females regularly involve gambling activities, and the age of develop into problem gambling is earlier.
In Productivity Commission 1999, Australia’s Gambling Industries, Report No. 10 has the following findings: Gaming machines and casino table games have been reported attracting most problem gamblers. About 1 in 5 regular gaming machine and casino table game players score 5 or more on the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS). People gamble in casino are mainly males, aged 18 to 24 and Asian. Gaming machine has been found no gender bias, but youths and middle income earner has slightly higher score. Lottery has been found the highest rate in gambling.
Participants are dominant by age 18 to 24, male, and low level educate people. ? 3. Influence and Contributing factors Shaffer et al. (2004) suggested that one’s inborn factors, environment, and experiences are interrelated to influence one’s addition behaviour in gambling. At the following paragraphs, I will explain the three factors individually, and will discuss their relationship afterward. In born factors: Serotonin, nor epinephrine, and dopamine are chemical substances in brain to regulate our mood and behaviour, response to stress, and motivate pleasure seeking, respectively.
Therefore, gamblers with the related brain disorders, will likely to develop addiction. Environment factors: Research reported that there are more problem gamblers found in the neighbourhood where gambling incidents are frequently exposed. This proves that environment is another contributing factor in gambling addiction. Experiences: It is easy to be understood that when you tried a piece of a food, you think it is delicious, you will want it again. So if someone obtain pleasure from gambling, he/she will think about to do it again.
These three factors are interrelated to develop gambling addiction. For example, When people are exposed to a gambling environment, then they will have opportunity to experience the gambling. When the gambler experience the pleasure from gambling, it may lead them repeat the same activities. Research suggests that gambling can alter people’s mood, gambler will repeat the same activity to attempt to gain the same effect. If the gamblers has bipolar disorder