Understanding Sports Betting Addiction

Gambling has been a very common pastime for human beings throughout the history of mankind, however, in some cases it may happen that some people develop pathological behaviors towards this type of practice. Specifically, behavioral addictions, so-called pathological gambling.

Below you will find a brief summary of the characteristics of pathological gambling and more specifically of sports bettingan increasingly frequent phenomenon in modern Western societies.

    What is pathological gambling?

    Gambling addiction or gambling addiction is a type of behavioral addiction based on the irrepressible urge to gamble or engage in any type of activity involving betting one’s own moneyin person or online.

    Although it can be considered a minor or less harmful addiction, it is a mental health problem that causes significant psychological and physical wear and tear on the person who suffers from it but also on those around them (friends and family) .

    Unlike classic chemical addictions, Gambling addiction is usually harder to detectbecause its symptoms are not so visible and can develop for several months in the person without his environment noticing.

      Symptoms of pathological gambling

      Although each person experiences the disorder differently, these are the main symptoms associated with pathological gambling, warning signs that can be used to identify this disease.

      1. Obsession with gambling

      The obsession with any aspect related to the game and the need to play anytime This is the main symptom that shows us that we are facing a case of pathological gambling.

      Talking about gambling all day, constantly reminiscing about previous games and being frustrated when something goes wrong or when the person is not allowed to gamble is also quite a characteristic symptom of pathological gambling.

      2. Mood swings

      Mood swings, irritability and even irascible or violent behavior is also common in people who have a case of pathological gambling.

      These changes are more frequent when the person cannot bet or play the game they are addicted to, which generates great discomfort and an intense feeling of anxiety.

      3. Social impact

      People with pathological gambling usually end up having difficulty maintaining their social or family relationships, or seeing them deteriorate as a result of their illness.

      It is common that due to mood swings and irritability exhibited by those affected by this problem they end up losing their friends and end up moving further and further away from their family.

      4. Tolerance

      Gambling addiction works in the same way as any other addiction, and therefore generates a tolerance in the addicted person which pushes him to bet more and more money. In other words, every time he has to get more involved in maintaining this pathological addiction to come to feel a timely relief.

      This phenomenon also causes their debts to increase, which in turn also increases their discomfort and deteriorates their physical and mental health.

        5. Hiding the problem

        Hiding the problem is something most people with any type of addiction do, and in the case of problem gambling it is also a common behavior.

        The person with this problem will hide and deny their problem from day one, as the addiction fully develops and its stakes grow.

        6. Difficulty controlling addiction

        People with pathological gambling have real difficulty controlling the frequency and amount of bets they place during the day. They feel that they no longer have control over what is happening in their life..

        This symptom is visible, since the person is unable to decrease, for example, the amount of money he bets or the number of times he bets after a week.

          What is sports betting addiction?

          Addiction to sports betting has become a real public health problem in recent years, mainly among younger and younger people, who tend to present more of this pathology.

          The rise of online sports betting and the massive advertising campaign that these betting houses have been carrying out for years have enabled younger and younger (especially men between 18 and 35) eventually become addicted to sports betting.

          In addition to this, the proliferation of all types of online casinos easily accessible from any mobile device is also causing an increasing number of drug addicts both in our country and in the countries around us. To this must be added that many of these gambling games are hidden under the guise of being video games or other forms of entertainment that we do not initially associate with the world of casinos.

          When it comes to sports betting, there are several organizations that feed off of the strong interest in sports club competitions to, from there, draw some of that attention to the realm of betting, using language and symbology which are very familiar to the average football or basketball fan, for example. In the marketing campaigns used to promote these bets, emphasis is placed on concepts such as success, the excitement produced by the competition, the explosion of joy generated by seeing how our team wins, etc. In short, an imaginary is created in which the person betting is, in some way, part of the competition; he merges with the players trying to win on the field.

          On the other hand, it must be taken into account that addiction to sports betting is not a distinct pathology from pathological gambling; rather, it is a subtype of this phenomenon. Therefore, it does not appear to be included as a concept in diagnostic manuals.

            Are you looking for therapeutic support for addictions?

            Although behavioral addictions are persistent and complex pathologies, it is possible to treat them and move the person forward and overcome them. But for this, it is essential to seek professional help in the context of therapy.

            If you are looking for this type of specialized services, do not hesitate to contact us; in Therapeutic Forum of Seville We will be happy to help you.

            Bibliographic references

            • American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
            • Zendle, D.; Meyer, R.; Above, H. (2019). Adolescents and loot boxes: links with compulsive gambling and purchasing motivations. Royal Open Science Society, 6(6): 190049.

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