Online casino addiction: what are its characteristics?

With the advent of new virtual environments due to the development of the Internet as a medium, new focal points of mental health risk are also emerging.

An example of this we see in online casino addiction, Which we will talk about in this article.

    What do we mean by online casino addiction?

    Online casino addiction is a form of psychopathology based on this the experience towards which the addiction is generated is the participation in games of chance offered by Internet pages specializing in these, And in which he bets with real world currency units, or some form of money based on the real economy, one that exists beyond this game or the entity offering it. In other words, in this class of games, losing means losing real money.

    In fact, it is a form of pathological gambling, which is often referred to as gambling at the popular level; however, the fact that the medium on which the activity on which the addiction is based is based is the Internet is very significant, as we will see.

    Symptoms of pathological gambling

    Online gambling addiction it is shaped by the symptoms of gambling addiction in general. The main ones are as follows.

    1. You constantly think about continuing to play

    The minds of gambling addicts tend to turn to memories or fantasize about this kind of experience. Many times, even to the point of thinking about it when other people are talking to them.

    This, in turn, this encourages a feeling of discomfort when not playing, as they miss those experiences.

    2. Mood swings and increased irritability

    Addictions often also generate an unstable emotional state a greater propensity to be irritable and to react with anger and hostility towards the setbacks of everyday life.

    3. Make excuses and hide information about gambling activity

    People who develop a gambling addiction are seen in many situations where they choose to lie by not directing the attention of others to their addiction problem.

    4. Look for borrowed money

    Unfortunately, in most cases those who spend time developing a gambling addiction end up suffering serious financial problems spending all their money in this activity.

    And as the urge to keep playing wins out over them, they go out of their way to get cash, often asking for money borrowed by scams (they won’t be able to return it) or even in some cases. flying.

    5. Poor mental health in general

    Addiction wear and tear causes other psychological problems, Such as insomnia, anxiety disorders or other addictions (it is very common to develop two or more addictive disorders).

    You may be interested in: “Double pathology: causes and treatments and associated disorders”

    What are the particularities of pathological gambling on the online media?

    As we have progressed, the addiction to gambling in which one can participate via the Internet it is not in itself a psychopathology recognized “officially” in diagnostic manuals, but a variant of the clinical category of pathological gambling, Which is a conceptually well-defined disorder.

    However, that doesn’t mean that this version of gambling addiction doesn’t have its own peculiarities. Below we’ll go through them, focusing on the characteristics associated with increased risk and danger.

    1. There are far fewer filters in front of vulnerable people

    Lack of control based on direct observation of those who play it is not very difficult for people who are particularly vulnerable to addictions to participate in gambling.

    2. Constant access to play increases the harmful potential

    Addictions are based on habits and access to contexts that act as a “temptation”.

    In the case of addiction to online casino games, just being in a house with Internet access and a computer is in itself an exposure to these kinds of things. That is, even in the house itself, many thoughts of self-sabotage can appear and lead the person to relapse within a few minutes (if he or she does not know how to deal with it).

    3. Internet surfing becomes a risk

    Due to the functioning of the Internet and the cookie systems that offer personalized advertising, many people involved in online gambling are bombarded by these advertisements, Which in turn are not well regulated legally and may use persuasive techniques that exploit the vulnerabilities of addicts.

    4. Detection usually costs more

    Often times, those who suffer from addictions end up in family pressure therapy. But in the case of online gambling, the discretion offered by online support means that if you keep a low profile it is possible to participate in online casino activities without arousing suspicion until the dependence has already consolidated a lot.

    Is it always dangerous to play at an online casino?

    Considering what we have seen in the previous lines, it is understandable to be afraid at the very thought of participating in online betting games.

    However, it should be borne in mind that Playing these games does not trigger the onset of such disorders; As with psychopathologies in general, this is a multicausal phenomenon, so for a person to develop an addiction to online casinos, several factors must occur while interacting with each other. In a nutshell, playing once in a while is a necessary but not sufficient part of being addicted.

    But this should not make us forget that precisely the intangibility of participation in online gambling, means that we tend to underestimate the harmful potential of this type of addiction and the symptoms through which it. expresses himself.

    Unlike, for example, the use of stimulant drugs, there is no very specific act here that can be identified as the basis of dependence (which in the case of psychoactive substances, taking a pill or consume cocaine), so for many especially for the youngest, the irruption in their life of pathological gambling surprises them.

    Are you looking for professional support in the face of addiction problems?

    If you are facing a complicated situation related to an addictive type disorder such as pathological gambling, please contact us. Fr CITA clinics we specialize specifically in the treatment of addictions (with or without substances) at all stages of the recovery process: from detoxification to rehabilitation and the establishment of lifestyle habits that reduce the risk of relapse.

    We do all of this from medicine and psychotherapy, either through weekly therapy sessions or from our full support service in our residential module designed for income, which is fully equipped with wellness activities. and leisure, located in a place surrounded by nature in Barcelona. region.

    Bibliographical references:

    • American Psychiatric Association (APA) (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
    • Black, D .; Shaw, M. (2008). Psychiatric comorbidity associated with pathological gambling. Psychiatric Times, 25 (12).
    • Gainsbury, SM (). Online Gambling Addiction: The Relationship Between Internet Gambling and Disorderly Gambling. Current Drug Addiction Reports, 2 (2): p. 185-193.
    • Kauer, JA, Malenka RC (2007). Synaptic plasticity and addiction. Opinions Nature Neuroscience, 8: pages 844 to 858.
    • Price, A. (2020). Online Betting Amid COVID-19: A Link Between Mental Health Problems, Substance Use, and Financial Stress. International Journal of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, 13: p. 1-18.

    Leave a Comment