Sports betting addiction: a new profile of gambling addiction

In recent times, we are seeing a change in the pattern when it comes to addictions, with behavioral addictions becoming more and more frequent, that is, those that are not based on substance use, but on addictions. behaviours.

Specifically, with the emergence of new technologies and the fashion of sports betting, this type of game is climbing the stairs in terms of frequency and severity in today’s society. Let’s see what sports betting addiction looks like and what can be done about it.

    What is sports betting addiction?

    Player profile has changed. Years ago it could be associated with the image of the person in the bar playing slot machines, today, although this profile and this addiction are still relevant, we are faced with a more young. Usually, a young man who gambles from home, bets from a mobile application or with the computer, or goes to specific gambling halls to bet money.

    We see how more and more salons of this type are proliferating and there are more and more advertisements and more applications that predispose to online gambling, which does not facilitate the eradication of this disease. It all adds up to it this is a fairly standardized thing, which is not considered problematic until the person has already entered a spiral that is difficult to get out of.

    Sometimes this addiction is accompanied by either another type of addiction, such as cannabis or alcohol, or another type of problem, such as lack of social skills or low self-esteem, even if it is it is true that it is not always so and there are exceptions.


      According to the DSM, pathological gambling or gambling disorder could be diagnosed in a patient who presents persistent and maladaptive gambling behavior, as reflected by the presence of at least 4 of the following symptoms over a 12-month period, with “persistent and recurring problematic gambling behavior”:

      • It is necessary to bet an ever increasing amount of money to be satisfied.
      • Nerves or irritability appear when you try to stop playing or when you stop playing.
      • He struggles to stop playing and takes several attempts in which he fails.
      • He spends a lot of time thinking about bets, whether it’s remembering games, planning new ones, or fantasizing that he’s winning a lot.
      • There is a tendency to bet more when you feel bad, whether it is to be sad or anxious.
      • After losing, feel the urge to bet more to make up for the loss.
      • He lies to others to hide his degree of involvement in betting.
      • He makes friendships and family ties because of betting and his tendency to ask for money that he will not return.

      What can I do if I have this problem?

      Surely it all started innocently, by downloading an app and making a small bet, Going to a game room to hang out … The problem usually arises when you easily earn a certain amount of money, it generates great satisfaction, what we call positive reinforcement, which can help to create and nurture the false belief that you can control and make more money (control error).

      More and more people are betting, there may be a day to win, however the losses are much greater and the consequences therefore more and more serious.

      First of all, do not hide the problem and ask for help, getting out of this addiction on your own is very complicated, you will need professional and socio-family help. Don’t be embarrassed, these games are very addicting; Once you get the urge to quit, you’ve already done the basics of stopping the addiction, by following some treatment guidelines and working with a psychologist, you can quit this problematic behavior.

      What can I do if I know someone who has this problem?

      Talk to him without guilt, try to make him understand that he / she has a problem. If he / she doesn’t want to take it, he / she will probably deny it, but it may be significant to him / her that someone around him / her has seen this problem and that it will generate a “deposit” that can help. the. go and realize that something is wrong.

      Don’t normalize their behaviorIn other words, don’t try to minimize it, compare it to other types of dependencies and minimize that, because you can minimize it.

      Offer your help to support them in their process; for example, to look together for information on where to go, to accompany him to the psychologist, etc.

      Also, let her express how you feel and don’t underestimate what she is telling you. It is important to have patience, it can be a complex and long process, the important thing is that you stay by his / her side as he / she follows the path of habituation.

      At Mariva Psychologists, we work with this type of addiction both at the most cognitive level (controlling beliefs, false expectations, use of play as an escape, underlying issues, guilt, low self-esteem, etc.) and at the level behavior, that is, providing strategies that help change that behavior and prevent relapses.

      If you need more information on this type of treatment, we are at your disposal.

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